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As in the case of every civilization, literature still remains the one means of archiving societal nuances. Today we take a look at 5 contemporary writers transforming the landscape of African literature with their books.


Black Ass” by .A. Igoni Barrett– There Igoni re-creates a comic parody in this fictional piece about a Nigerian man Furo Wariboko who wakes on the day of his interview to discover he is now a white man albeit his ass that remains pitch black. The book explores the perks a white skin confers in a prejudiced society like Nigeria that believes all things white are the best.

Book 2

Here Comes the Sun” by Nicole Dennis Benn– the Jamaican writer delivers a shocking piece about the harsh realities of hardship and oppression faced by a woman in post-colonial Jamaica. The story follows the life of Margot, the main character, a 30 year old front desk executive/courtesan at the Palm Star Resort who will stop at nothing to ensure her sister gets an education.

Book 3

“The Maestro, The Magistrate & The Mathematician” by Tendai Huchu– Tendai is an introspective engaging writer who delivers a moving psychological tale about the lives of three Zimbabweans living in Edinburg as they struggle to find their place in a foreign country.

Book 4

“The Happy Marriage” by Tahar Ben Jelloun– This renowned Moroccan author tells the story of a couple as both sides explain what caused the collapse of their marriage. The husband a painter starts out by telling his own side of his story of how his marriage collapsed as he is recovering from a stroke brought upon him by his wife; when his wife reads his account of his tale, she gives her own side of the story.

Book 5

“Born on a Tuesday” by Elnathan John- This novel comes highly recommended as it addresses some of the difficult issues posed by religion in Northern Nigeria. It explores the themes of war and religion through the eyes of its protagonist Dantala, a young boy who leaves home to attend a Muslim school far from his parents and becomes a witness to harsh realities of radical Islamism.

Written by Kike Olowu

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