The Woman Next Door

“The Woman Next Door” by Yewande Omotoso (South Africa) Review “The Woman Next Door” by Yewande Omotoso (South Africa) is set in modern-day Cape Town and is about the strained relationship between two elderly neighbours, one black and one white. Readers found this an easy story to get into, and to some extent it was…

Wizard of the Crow

“Wizard of the Crow” by Ngugi wa Thiong’o (Kenya) Synopsis In exile for more than twenty years, Ngugi wa Thiong’o has become one of the most widely read African writers of our time, the power and scope of his work garnering him international attention and praise. His aim in “Wizard of the Crow” is, in…

The Yacoubian Building

“The Yacoubian Building” by Alaa Al Aswany (Egypt) Review Readers loved this book! They warmed to the different characters who they described as vivid and well developed. They liked how each one evolved throughout the story as either their situation improved or deteriorated. They also liked the contrasts between the secular and religious lifestyles of…

By Night the Mountain Burns

“By Night the Mountain Burns” by Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel (Equatorial Guinea) Review There were mixed feelings about this book as some readers struggled with the stream-of-consciousness style of writing. Those who enjoyed it loved the flow of the story describing it as lyrical and dreamlike. They said it felt like listening to a friend telling…

Tram 83

“Tram 83” by Fiston Mwanza Mujila (Democratic Republic of Congo) Review From a classic plot-driven novel to an unusual collective ‘novel-essay,’ the four shortlisted books for this year’s Summer Reading Group varied greatly in structure, style of writing, and point of view. Our summer readers also noticed a recurrent theme in all four of dreams…

In the Country of Men

“In the Country of Men” by Hisham Matar (Libya) Review Most readers enjoyed the book finding it beautifully written and insightful, with one reader going so far as to describe the author as a wizard with language! They loved the setting and the descriptions of the house and its surroundings. They liked how the characters…

The Fall of Saints

“The Fall of Saints” by Wanjiku wa Ngugi (Kenya) Review From a first novel to a first attempt at a new genre by a well-known writer, this year’s Summer Reading selection of crime fiction covered a wide range of writing styles. “The Fall of Saints” is a first novel set in New York and Kenya…

We Need New Names

“We Need New Names” by NoViolet Bulawayo (Zimbabwe) Review Members of our Summer Reading Group liked the differences in writing styles and themes of this year’s four shortlisted books finding most of the stories highly enjoyable. Nicola has chosen the novel “We Need New Names” as her Coup de Cœur Summer 2014. Set in Harare…