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Friday, January 17, 2014

Watch for these new book releases from African female authors

Last year proved to be a momentous year for African female writers. 2013 also introduced us to an array of new authors, including Taiye Selasi, Chinelo Okparanta and more. This year, there are already a new crop of books lined up to launch within the next few months.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Photo: Facebook)
African female authors have left their mark in 2013. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's book Americanah, was named best book of the year and even made it on the New York Times '10 Best Books of 2013' list.


Zimbabwean author NoViolet Bulawayo, was also on everyone's lips when she debuted her novel, We Need New Names. She made history as the first black African female to be shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

Let's not forget Cameroonian author Léonora Miano, who picked up the Prix Femina award for her seventh novel La Saison de l’ombre. For this new year 2014, here are three new releases we are most excited about:

Dust by Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor
Dust is a new novel from Caine Prize winner Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor. The story is based in Kenya and tells the story of the troubled Ogunda family after the death of their son Odidi. The Novel is a sentimental prose which deals with 'power and deceit, unrequited love, survival and sacrifice'.


Synopsis
Odidi Oganda, running for his life, is gunned down in the streets of Nairobi. His grief-stricken sister, Ajany, just returned from Brazil, and their father bring his body back to their crumbling home in the Kenyan drylands, seeking some comfort and peace. But the murder has stirred memories long left untouched and unleashed a series of unexpected events: Odidi and Ajany’s mercurial mother flees in a fit of rage; a young Englishman arrives at the Ogandas’ house, seeking his missing father; a hardened policeman who has borne witness to unspeakable acts reopens a cold case; and an all-seeing Trader with a murky identity plots an overdue revenge. In scenes stretching from the violent upheaval of contemporary Kenya back through a shocking political assassination in 1969 and the Mau Mau uprisings against British colonial rule in the 1950s, we come to learn the secrets held by this parched landscape, buried deep within the shared past of the family and of a conflicted nation.

Here is a spellbinding novel about a brother and sister who have lost their way; about how myths come to pass, history is written, and war stains us forever. Dust will be released on January 28, 2014 and is available for pre-order on Amazon.


Boy, Snow, Bird: A Novel by Helen Oyeyemi
Boy, Snow, Bird is Award-winning Nigerian-British novelist Helen Oyeyemi's fifth novel about 'three women and an unbreakable bond'. The Story is about a woman named Boy who escapes an abusive life in New York city for a more calmer existence in Massachusetts. The story employs several references to familiar fairy tales to explore identity and race.


Synopsis
In the winter of 1953, Boy Novak arrives by chance in a small town in Massachusetts, looking, she believes, for beauty—the opposite of the life she’s left behind in New York. She marries a local widower and becomes stepmother to his winsome daughter, Snow Whitman. A wicked stepmother is a creature Boy never imagined she’d become, but elements of the familiar tale of aesthetic obsession begin to play themselves out when the birth of Boy’s daughter, Bird, who is dark-skinned, exposes the Whitmans as light-skinned African Americans passing for white. Among them, Boy, Snow, and Bird confront the tyranny of the mirror to ask how much power surfaces really hold. Dazzlingly inventive and powerfully moving,

Boy, Snow, Birdis an astonishing and enchanting novel. With breathtaking feats of imagination, Helen Oyeyemi confirms her place as one of the most original and dynamic literary voices of our time. Boy, Snow, Bird will be released on March 6, 2014 and is available for pre-order on Amazon.


Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor
Award-winning science fiction author Nnedi Okorafor's newest offering Lagoon is a novel about humanity. Okorafor uses poetic prose to narrate a tale that combines 'everything from superhero comics to Nigerian mythology'.


Synopsis
Three strangers, each isolated by his or her own problems: Adaora, the marine biologist. Anthony, the rapper famous throughout Africa. Agu, the troubled soldier. Wandering Bar Beach in Lagos, Nigeria's legendary mega-city, they're more alone than they've ever been before. But when something like a meteorite plunges into the ocean and a tidal wave overcomes them, these three people will find themselves bound together in ways never imagined. Together with Ayodele, a visitor from beyond the stars, they must race through Lagos and against time itself in order to save the city, the world...and themselves. 'There was no time to flee. No time to turn. No time to shriek. And there was no pain. It was like being thrown into the stars.' Lagoon will be released on April 10, 2014 and is available for pre-order on Amazon.

What books are you most looking forward to? Do you have any to add to our list?