Bite-size Review: Born on a Tuesday | Elnathan John

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Born on a Tuesday | Elnathan John

Where many have fallen short, Elnathan John’s debut novel Born on a Tuesday completes the dramatisation of insurgency in Nigeria with dark wit, poise and captivating simplicity. Dantala, a Muslim boy, like many hustlers on the streets of Northern Nigeria teeters on the verge of survival. Beginning with the loss of his friend Banda, which propels his escape from a life of petty political crimes into the paternal bosom of Sheikh Jamal, a new chapter ensues. Yet fate has more in store to test his resolve. Continue reading “Bite-size Review: Born on a Tuesday | Elnathan John”

Bite-size Review: Song For Night | Chris Abani

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Song For Night | Chris Abani

In the dark pits of civil warfare, Chris Abani mimes a human poetry; of love and redemption. My Luck, a twelve- year- old boy recounts his travails as a child soldier tasked with the perilous job of a mine detector. Through his journey across the wretched terrain of human wreckage and ruin, we hear the cries of the human soul as it yields to the lust of hate and violence. Continue reading “Bite-size Review: Song For Night | Chris Abani”

Bite-size Review: Tram 83 | Fiston Mwanza Mujila

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Tram 83 | Fiston Mwanza Mujila

A pulsating literary score, with a ragbag of plucky characters. In Tram 83 we meet, an ensemble of courtesans, a bevy of thrill seekers, a throng of gangsters and racketeers, all mired in the bleating hustle of survival. Out of this gritty melting pot of degenerates, emerges Lucien, a struggling writer obstinately bent on creating his masterpiece- a locomotive novel. Continue reading “Bite-size Review: Tram 83 | Fiston Mwanza Mujila”

Bite-size Review: The Book of Memory | Petina Gappah

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The Book of Memory | Petina Gappah

Estranged, accursed and displaced, our protagonist in The Book of Memory pieces together the accounts of her demise. Memory is an albino woman facing the death penalty in Chikurubi, a maximum prison in Harare for the death of Lloyd Hendricks, her adopted patron. The accounts of her life, flows in fragments and scattered recollections mapping the painful guiles of memory. Continue reading “Bite-size Review: The Book of Memory | Petina Gappah”

Bite-size Review: The House Is Not For Sale | E.C. Osondu

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The House Is Not For Sale | E.C. Osondu

E.C. Osundu’s debut novel, This House is Not for Sale, brings to life the daily affairs of a Nigerian community. It is set in and around a large ‘family house’, owned by the patriarch and overlord ‘Grandpa’. Shrewd, business minded and possessing an air of omnipresence, Grandpa – equally benevolent and tyrannical – presides over a motley ménage of blood relations, tenants, and lackeys, with a firm hand. Continue reading “Bite-size Review: The House Is Not For Sale | E.C. Osondu”

Bite-size Review: From Pasta to Pigfoot | Frances Mensah Williams

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From Pasta to Pigfoot | Frances Mensah Williams

A fluid easy read with a bemusing touch on culture and romance. From Pasta to Pigfoot, presents a youthful narrative that grants deep questions of identity and self discovery a universal resonance. With a homely and nostalgic tone Frances Mensah Williams simultaneously arouses anger and compassion within her readers. Continue reading “Bite-size Review: From Pasta to Pigfoot | Frances Mensah Williams”

Bite-size Review: The Fishermen | Chigozie Obioma

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The Fishermen | Chigozie Obioma

Shortlisted for The Man Booker Prize (2015), Chigozie Obioma’s debut novel The Fishermen, weaves together a resplendent and arresting allegory of fraternal disharmony and mortal redemption. It tells of the misfortunes visited upon a conservative Nigerian family. Mr. James Agwu, is a strict patriarch, whose work at the Nigerian central bank intermittently places him away from his family. In his absence, his sons Obembe, Boja, Ikenna and Benjamin embarks on a fishing adventure. Continue reading “Bite-size Review: The Fishermen | Chigozie Obioma”

Bite-size Review: Ignorance is the Enemy of Love | Faaraz M J Cawl

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Ignorance is the Enemy of Love | Faarax M J Cawl

Ignorance is the Enemy of Love (Aqoondarro waa u nacab jacayl) tells a fatalistic love story of Calimaax and Cawrala. Faarax M. J. Cawl wrote the novel in the Somali language, which did not have an official orthography until 1972, and published the novel in 1974. The English translation by UNESCO linguist B.W. Andrzejewski is no longer available in print. This is not just a fanciful tragic love story rather the novel has political and historical tropes which draw on the tensions between British colonisers and the Muslim Brotherhood of Sayid Maxamed Cabdulle Xasan (1856-1921). Continue reading “Bite-size Review: Ignorance is the Enemy of Love | Faaraz M J Cawl”

Bite-size Review: The Hairdresser of Harare | Tendai Huchu

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The Hairdresser of Harare | Tendai Huchu

This truly captures the spirit of ‘new writing’ within the African literary genre. The Hairdresser of Harare by the Zimbabwean writer Tendai Huchu illuminates the socio-political and cultural conditions of present day Zimbabwe. Through the heartbreaking friendship of Dumisani, a wealthy young man and Vimbai a struggling single mother; a set of complex political, economic and social relations unique to the country’s history of independence unfolds. Continue reading “Bite-size Review: The Hairdresser of Harare | Tendai Huchu”

Bite-size Review: Ghana Must Go | Taiye Selasi

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Ghana Must Go | Taiye Selasi

Another one of those books that holds an immense potential of being a spectacular piece of literature yet fails to meet the reader’s expectation. Ghana Must Go, unravels a matrix of family dilemmas that commence with the depature of the central character Kweku Sai. It is a tale of truimph over tragedy, love and loss. Continue reading “Bite-size Review: Ghana Must Go | Taiye Selasi”