Many times people ask me, what is a good fictional book to read on Africa?
Walking into a bookstore or browsing online, you are immediately hit with the notion that there are millions of books, what is a truly good read?
The African Gourmet top three modern African fiction must read are Someone Knows My Name by Lawrence Hill, Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi and The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna.
Overall, I happily invest three hours a day reading. I read to understand things I have never been exposed to by grace. Below is a short list of the books that inspired me to learn, grow, and laugh and to be motivated. Please share books you love in the comments section below.
Someone Knows My Name
by Lawrence Hill
Kidnapped from Africa as a child, Aminata Diallo is enslaved in South Carolina but escapes during the chaos of the Revolutionary War. In Manhattan, she becomes a scribe for the British, recording the names of blacks who have served the King and earned their freedom in Nova Scotia.
But the hardship and prejudice of the new colony prompt her to follow her heart back to Africa, then on to London, where she bears witness to the injustices of slavery and its toll on her life and a whole people.
Ghana Must Go
by Taiye Selasi
Kweku Sai is dead. A renowned surgeon and failed husband, he succumbs suddenly at dawn outside his home in suburban Accra. The news of Kweku’s death sends a ripple around the world, bringing together the family he abandoned years before. Ghana Must Go is their story.
The Memory of Love
by Aminatta Forna
The Memory of Love takes the reader through the haunting atmosphere of a country at war, delicately intertwining the powerful stories of two generations. In contemporary Freetown, a devastating civil war has left an entire populace with secrets to keep. In the capital hospital Kai, a gifted young surgeon is plagued by demons that are beginning to threaten his livelihood.
Elsewhere in the hospital lies Elias Cole, a man who has stories to tell from the country’s turbulent postcolonial years that are far from heroic. As past and present intersect, Kai and Elias are drawn unwittingly closer by Adrian, a British psychiatrist with good intentions, and into the path of one woman at the center of their stories.