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Contemporary African books you should read instead of Obama’s recommended titles

July 14, 2018 at 11:00 am | Art Attack

Nduta Waweru

Nduta Waweru | Contributor

July 14, 2018 at 11:00 am | Art Attack

Former American president Barrack Obama will be in Kenya and South Africa in the coming week ahead of the 100th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s birth.

Ahead of the visit, he recommended a few books about Africa that everyone should read this summer.

Over the years since, I’ve often drawn inspiration from Africa’s extraordinary literary tradition. As I prepare for this trip, I wanted to share a list of books that I’d recommend for summer reading, including some from a number of Africa’s best writers and thinkers – each of whom illuminate our world in powerful and unique ways.

Among the books he shared are Ngugi wa Thiongo’s A Grain of Wheat; Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart; Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom; Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah; and Hisham Matar’s The Return.


While they are grand books from some Africa’s greatest literary minds, there is a burst of new and contemporary novels that captures the essence that is Africa at this point in time.

We, therefore, recommend these titles for a new perspective on the continent:

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