Coming across African literature in downtown Kampala is like looking for a drop of water in the Sahara. You don’t believe me? Take a walk in town and I guarantee you, Western titles will dominate their African counterparts 10 to 1.

SoBook Blog badge you can imagine my glee at finding dozens of hard-to-find titles by African writers all in one place! And apparently I wasn’t the only one eager to buy  these books and also meet the authors, a good number of whom made the trip to attend the Writivism Festival.

For those who were unable to attend so far, but would like to, you can thank me later. I have curated the list of books on sale and fast running out, divided between bestsellers so far, and the rest of the catalogue.

Best-sellers

Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso

(Sold Out)

Hortensia James and Marion Agostino are neighbours. One is black, one white. Both are successful women with impressive careers. Both have recently been widowed. And both are sworn enemies, sharing hedge and hostility which they prune with a zeal that belies the fact that they are both over eighty. But one day an unforeseen event forces the women together. And gradually the bickering and sniping softens into lively debate, and from there into memories shared. But could these sparks of connection ever transform into friendship? Or is it too late to expect these two to change?

In the footsteps of Mr. Kurtz by Michela Wrong

He was known as “the Leopard,” and for the thirty-two years of his reign Mobutu Sese Seko, president of Zaire, showed all the cunning of his namesake, seducing Western powers, buying up the opposition, and dominating his people with a devastating combination of brutality and charm. While the population was pauperized, he plundered the country’s copper and diamond resources, downing pink champagne in his jungle palace like some modern-day reincarnation of Joseph Conrad’s crazed station manager.

It’s Our Turn to Eat by Michela Wrong

When Michela Wrong’s Kenyan friend John Githongo appeared one morning on the doorstep of her London flat, it was clear something had gone very wrong in a country regarded until then as one of Africa’s few budding success stories. John’s tale is the story of how a brave man came to make a lonely decision with huge ramifications.

I didn’t Do it for You by Michela Wrong

Scarred by decades of conflict and occupation, the craggy African nation of Eritrea has weathered the world’s longest-running guerrilla war. The dogged determination that secured victory against Ethiopia, its giant neighbor, is woven into the national psyche, the product of cynical foreign interventions. Fascist Italy wanted Eritrea as the springboard for a new, racially pure Roman empire; Britain sold off its industry for scrap; the United States needed a base for its state-of-the-art spy station; and the Soviet Union used it as a pawn in a proxy war. In I Didn’t Do It for You, Michela Wrong reveals the breathtaking abuses this tiny nation has suffered and, with a sharp eye for detail and a taste for the incongruous, tells the story of colonialism itself and how international power politics can play havoc with a country’s destiny.

How to Spell Naija in 100 short stories by Chuma Nwokolo

This second volume of How to Spell Naija in 100 Short Stories contains the final 50 stories and raises the high bar set by the first. These tales boldly range over Nigeriania, with kidnappers, houseboys, bishops and suicide bombers wreaking domestic and hilarious havoc. The tales are set in the future and in the present, in the Diaspora, in urban and small-town Nigeria, and the author’s fictional Waterside community. Once again, Nwokolo’s sure-handed humour and earthy style brings an amazing and unforgettable cast of characters to life.

Gambit: Newer African Writing

Fiction. African & African American Studies. Anthology. Hybrid Genre. GAMBIT: NEWER AFRICAN WRITING is a unique collection of nine interviews and original short stories by emerging writers from across Africa. The stories in this anthology reflect the nuances that arise from living in a post-postcolonial Africa, where stereotypes are crumbling and writers are willing to tackle themes that are more social than political. Unlike other anthologies of African writing, GAMBIT’s contributors are mostly based in their home countries, putting them closer to the themes they lyrically confront. The interviews provide insight into the writers’ inspirations, fears, hopes, and craft. The short stories reveal a range of experiences that are alive with grace, resilience, and humor. GAMBIT is one way to rediscover today’s writing from the African continent. Contributors include: Abdul Adan (Somalia), Ayobami Adebayo (Nigeria), Dami Ajayi (Nigeria), Richard Ali (Nigeria), Abubakar Adam Ibrahim (Nigeria), Dango Mkandawire (Malawi), Donald Molosi (Botswana), Novuyo Rosa Tshuma (Zimbabwe), Suzanne Ushie (Nigeria)

The Ghosts of 1894 by Oduor Jagero

In 1894, Habineza’s grandfather saw the Germans seize their land, Rwanda. But when he was born, it was the Belgians that were ruling their land. Then the war broke and his family left in a huff; they trudged through the forest to Uganda. Then just as he was falling in love with Nabulungi, the war broke. Does he back home to Rwanda or does he cross over to Kenya? What happens to his new love? He found himself in his home country. He is running a good business and he has a beautiful wife with two lovely children. Then the war breaks again. Will he survive?

Supplement to the Chimurenga Chronic

The latest issue of Chimurenga’s pan-African gazette, the Chronic, explores the tensions between reform and revolution, and decolonisation and the neoliberal order in the academy, through the lens of history and via the alternate education paradigms based in indigenous knowledge systems, and also arising from South Africa’s radical anti-apartheid struggle. Football is the focus of the books supplement, Chronic Books. Not so much the game itself as the language produced in, around and about it. How football is spoken, written and narratively performed – from the informal commentary of bar talk, blogs, social media and stadium banter to more formal inquiries in mainstream media. This edition of the Chronic also features a photonovella titled “Jabu Comes to Joburg”, a classic South African tale re-imagined by Achal Prabhala.

 

Sweet Medicine by Panashe Chigumadzi

Sweet Medicine is the story of Tsitsi, a young woman who compromises the values of her Catholic upbringing to find romantic and economic security through otherworldly means. The story takes place in Harare at the height of Zimbabwe’s economic woes in 2008. The book is a thorough and evocative attempt at grappling with a variety of important issues in the postcolonial context: tradition and modernity; feminism and patriarchy; spiritual and political freedoms and responsibilities; poverty and desperation; and wealth and abundance.

Other Books on sale at the Writivism Festival 2016

100 Days by Juliane Okot p’Bitek

Story of Maha by Sumayya Lee

Maha Ever After by Sumayya Lee

Roses for Betty Writivism 2015 Anthology

Fire in the Night Writivism 2014 Anthology

Picture Frames Writivism 2013 Anthology

Tropical Fish by Doreen Baingana

The Headline that Morning and other Poems by Peter Kagayi

A Killing in the Sun by Dilman Dila

The Triangle by Nakisanze Segawa

A Death Retold in Truth and Rumour: Kenya, Britain and the Julie Ward Murder by Grace A. Musila

We are all Blue by Donald Molosi

A Poetic Duet by Jane Okot p’Bitek

Kizza Besigye and Uganda’s Unfinished Revolution by Daniel Kalinaki

Poetry Portion series edited and published by Duduzile Zamantunga Mabaso

The Ghost of Sani Abacha by Chuma Nwokolo

Duc in Altum (Ebifananyi 6) compiled by Andrea Stultiens

A Nation in Labour by Harriet Anena

Safe House

 

 

 

 

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