As a lifelong, avid reader and enthusiastic supporter of African literature, I have regularly shared vignettes from books by the continent’s authors that I’ve read, and I’ve blurbed about many of them in the pages of this newsletter as well as on Twitter. Over the past year, I also fielded several requests from readers and interlocutors who sought out my thoughts and recommendations on literature, poetry and plays by African writers. To that end, I decided to create a list of some of my favorite literary works by African authors that were published in 2022.
By its very nature, this list cannot and will not capture the breadth, variety and range of literary achievement and scholarship across a continent of 54 countries, 1.4 billion people and more than 2,000 languages. And I make no claim to attempting or even desiring to do so, as that would be beyond my pay grade. Consider this exercise, rather, to be my stray thoughts or a kind of introductory shorthand for beginners seeking an entry point to the rich and vibrant literature being produced by African writers today. At some point in the New Year, I will come back with what will essentially be a part two of this newsletter, in which I will craft a list of some recommended reads from the canon of African literature. Stay tuned!
Without further ado, let’s get right into the list: