1963. Kenya is on the verge of independence from British colonial rule. In the Great Rift Valley, Kenyans of all backgrounds come together in the previously white-only establishment of the Jakaranda Hotel. The resident musician is Rajan Salim, who charms visitors with songs inspired by his grandfather’s noble stories of the railway construction that spawned the Kenya they now know.
The history of Credit Gone West, a squalid Congolese bar, is related by one of its most loyal customers, Broken Glass, who has been commissioned by its owner to set down an account of the characters who frequent it. Broken Glass himself is a disgraced alcoholic school teacher with a love of French language and literature which he has largely failed to communicate to his pupils but which he displays in the pages of his notebook. The notebook is also a farewell to the bar and to his fellow drinkers.
This is the story of Adebisi, a brave African huntress who sets out for the Jungle of the Pigmies to rescue her four brothers. Along the way, she conquers a giant, serves as the barber to a king and endures the horrors of the pigmies' prison. Yet she will not give up. By employing her strength and intelligence, she finds a way to release her brothers and returns home to a hero's welcome.
Written as a letter from a Zimbabwean mother to her daughter, a student at Harvard, J. Nozipo Maraire evokes the moving story of a mother reaching out to her daughter to share the lessons life has taught her and bring the two closer than ever before. Interweaving history and memories, disappointments and dreams, Zenzele tells the tales of Zimbabwe's struggle for independence and the men and women who shaped it: Zenzele's father, an outspoken activist lawyer; her aunt, a schoolteacher by day and secret guerrilla fighter by night; and her cousin, a maid and a spy.
Now in its 19th year, this collection brings together the five 2018 stories shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing, Africa's leading literary award. The prize was launched in 2000 to encourage and highlight the richness and diversity of African writing by bringing it to a wider audience internationally. The focus on the short story reflects the contemporary development of the African story-telling tradition.
Who are these Guptas who are so powerful, they're distributing cabinet posts like matrons handing out condoms at a brothel? Who do Americans think they are, accusing Trevor Noah of stealing a joke from one of their comedians? Is Sizakele MaKhumalo Zuma's spaza shop a National Key Point? In #ZuptasMustFall, and other rants, Fred Khumalo runs riot, contemplating the pressing issues that continue to confound, infuriate and exasperate the nation ? or to sink it into further controversy.
Stamped from the Beginning meets You Can't Touch My Hair in this timely and resonant essay collection from Guardian contributor and prominent BBC race correspondent Emma Dabiri, exploring the ways in which black hair has been appropriated and stigmatized throughout history, with ruminations on body politics, race, pop culture, and Dabiri’s own journey to loving her hair.
Whether it’s learning about the complexities of femalehood from Zora Neale Hurston and Toni Morrison, finding a new type of love in The Color Purple, or using mythology to craft an alternative black future, the subjects of each essay remind us why we turn to books in times of both struggle and relaxation.