Sunday, October 25, 2009

I Had a Book in Africa . . .

Natasha at Maw Books Blog is hosting this month's Bookworms' Carnival and her theme is "Africa" books -- those written by African authors, set in Africa, or with some other African connection. She has compiled an incredible list of books. If you are looking for inspiration, please visit. It is worth bookmarking the page for future reference. I was pleased that Natasha included three of my book reviews in the carnival (links to reviews): The Beggar by Naguib Mahfouz Beethoven Was One-Sixteenth Black by Nadine Gordimer The Life and Times of Michael K. by J.M. Coetzee In addition to her long list of recommended books, Natasha included a few questions for carnival participants and readers. Feel free to answer the questions on your blog or leave a comment on the carnival page: 1. Do you read a lot of books that have an African focus? If so, why do you enjoy them? I didn't think I read many books with an African focus. And I don't, at least not compared to American or British books. But thinking back. I have read quite a few and there are more on my shelves. But I tend to read books by British or American authors about Africa more than books by African authors. 2. Have you reviewed any books with an African theme? If so, feel free to highlight them. In addition to the three listed above, I reviewed two (links to reviews): Black Jews, Jews, and Other Heroes: How Grassroots Activism Led to the Rescue of the Ethiopian Jews by Howard Lenoff Middle Passage by Charles Johnson (in the carnival) 3. What are you looking forward to reading next? Anything on your radar? Limiting this question to books with an African connection, Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen and A Good Man in Africa by William Boyd are both moving towards the top of my TBR stack. 4. If you haven’t read a lot of books with an African focus, what are some books that you’d like to read? There are several others on my TBR shelves right now that I plan to get to eventually: King Leopold's Ghost by Adam Hochschild (in the carnival) The Stranger by Albert Camus Jump by Nadine Gordimer A Sport of Nature by Nadine Gordimer Burger's Daughter by Nadine Gordimer The Grass is Singing by Dorris Lessing The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (in the carnival) Half of a Yellow-Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (in the carnival) 5. Are there any book titles showcased in this carnival that sounds interesting to you or that you’ve read? There are several books listed in the carnival that I have read, even though I did not review them: The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee West With the Night by Beryl Markham And, finally, there are several books with an African connection that I have read that are not listed above and were not in the carnival: Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton Scoop by Evelyn Waugh (a fictional Africa) A Bend in the River by V.S. Naipaul In a Free State by V.S. Naipaul (Booker winner) The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles (Modern Library's Top 100) The Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell (Modern Library's Top 100) Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali The Heart of the Matter by Graham Greene The Human Factor by Graham Greene Henderson the Rain King by Saul Bellow (more fictional Africa) Skeletons on the Zahara by Dean King (my notes are here) OTHERS' ANSWERS AND RELATED POSTS IMAGENATIONS (Ghanaian author Nana Fredua-Agyeman's blog) A Senegalese Reading List (on Amateur Reader's Wuthering Expectations blog) (Leave a comment with a link to your answers and I will list your post here.)

8 comments :

Marie said...

have you seen nana agyeman's imagenations.blogspot.com blog on african books? he's a ghanian writer who is passionate about promoting ghanian and other african writers. definitely worth checking out if you're into this.

Marie said...

Okay that URL is really http://freduagyeman.blogspot.com/.
sorry!

An Anonymous Child said...

I don't think I've read very many books with African connections and it's kind of a shame. It's obviously not true that good literature can only come from the West or Asia, and yet most of the books I read focus on the Western world. Hmm... Now I have a good list of books to choose from. No more excuses, right?

Amateur Reader said...

Maybe this is a good place to link to my annotated Senegalese reading list?

Not a single Senegalese writer in the Carnival. Basically no Francophone literature at all.

Rose City Reader said...

Marie -- thanks for the link to Agyeman's blog. I'll add it.

A. Child -- I have a Western bias in my reading, that's for sure. But my horizons occasionally expand. Usually because a book by an African or other non-western author shows up on one of my lists. That's why I read the Mahfouz book -- he is on the Nobel winners list I am working on. And Things Fall Apart is on the All-TIMRE 100 list and the Radcliffe Top 100 list.

A. Reader -- I thought about your Senegalese list when I was writing this post and was going to track it down. I am happy to add your link. Thanks!

eveningreader said...

I'm reading The Poisonwood Bible right now. I realize as I read how very little I know about Africa, beyond the other few (fiction) books I've read. Thanks for including those lists and links!

Nana Fredua-Agyeman said...

thanks Marie for the advert here. I hope many people get to know more about the literature in Africa. If you read about Africa from the African you read the best...'if you want to know the bamboo go to the bamboo'...Buson.

Rose City Reader said...

Nana -- Thanks for visiting. It is a pleasure to link your blog. Good luck with all your efforts!

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