Art & LifeBooksWords to live by in 2014


Posted on Tuesday, 31 December 2013 17:24

Words to live by in 2014

By The Africa Report

Mukoma wa Ngugi Novelist and poet. Image©AljazeeraAfrican writers telling stories about life outside the continent is a growing theme.


South African Zakes Mda's new novel Rachel's Blue is set in the United States (US). It is being promoted as "a masterful portrayal of a community divided by one man's actions, and of one woman's fight in a biased world."

Great things are also expected for South African Sarah Lotz. She will release her solo debut The Three in May. Set in Britain, South Africa, the US, Japan and Australia, it is a chilling story of four simultaneous plane crashes and the three children who survive them.

Teju Cole's novella Every Day is for the Thief has Lagos as a backdrop and is already hotly anticipated. It was published in Nigeria in 2007 but will now be released in the UK and the US following the success of his Open City.

Mozambique's Mia Couto, who in November 2013 was awarded the Neustadt Prize, is working on a historical novel based on a Mozambican emperor who ruled the south of the country until the beginning of the 20th century.

On the separation of Sudan and South Sudan, A Poisonous Thorn in Our Hearts by James Copnall will be published in early 2014. ●

Mukoma wa Ngugi - Novelist and poet
Two trends are challenging African literature: science and crime fiction. The novelist Helon Habila is spearheading an African crime imprint, Cordite. I am looking forward to Okey Ndibe's Foreign Gods, Inc., as well another Inspector Dawson novel, Murder at Cape Three Points by Kwei Quartey. The Fall of Saints by Wanjiku wa Ngugi, my sister, will be published in 2014. Wanjiku's novel is very politically aware while being entertaining. There is also my brother Nducu's novel, City Murders, so by next year we should have four published authors in the family." ●

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