African authors

Take a vacation through reading

Hello Fancy Lacy Community,

The days have gotten longer and for the last few days at least, we’ve had perfect summer weather at the start of spring. I don’t know about you but for me, beautiful warm weather always stirs my wanderlust. But because it will be a while before I get to travel (I’m going home to Uganda this August!), I like to take a vacation, multiple vacations in fact, by through reading. What’s better than cozying up with a book in a hammock in your backyard (Or at the beach!), an ice-cold drink only an arms length away, while losing yourself in the pages of a wonderful book? It’s a trip!

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At the beginning of this year, I made a resolution to read more books by African writers than I have done previously. And so far, I have stood by that commitment. While I was aware that African literature was starting to really flourish, I have been pleasantly surprised to discover for myself this amazing crop of writers whose characters I absolutely identify with and not just because they have noses as large as my own or their hair, like mine, has the curls tight enough to strangulate the hardiest combs. No. It’s all that and more. Some of them are writers telling real stories about what it really means to grow up in an African country and telling them with such mind-blowing literary merit, and others are writers of African descent whose craftsmanship just leaps off the page. One such writer is Helen Oyeyemi and I’m right now half way through her recently launched collection of short stories, What’s Not Yours is not Yours. It is magic! (Also, really, there’s magic in it)

Here are a few other books currently on my night stand:

  1. Lyrics Alley by Leila Aboulela
  2. Under the Udala Tree by Chinelo Okparatha
  3. Tram 83 by Fiston Mwanza.

All three except Lyrics Alley are first novels and they don’t read at all like first time attempts at the novel by both writers. Chinelo’s is a poignantly told story set in Nigeria during the Biafra war and Fiston’s is brilliantly dark.

Pick up a copy and tell me your impressions!

Happy book-travelling!

Iryn