Book reviews, recommendations, and personal musings about African stories.

The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma

The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma Took My Breath Away

The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma is set in the 1990s in Akure, a small town in Nigeria; and centers around four brothers who commit to fishing at the forbidden (and cursed) Omi-Ala River. Their father, Mr. Agwu, wants his sons to be juggernauts—children who will “dip their hands into rivers, seas, …

Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Feminist Decree for the 21st Century

Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions contains powerful, simple, and witty gems for moving towards gender equality. This manifesto is essential reading for mothers and fathers who are raising young children, and others who envision raising children in a gender-equal world. The fierce and powerful truth is this: …

Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta

Chinelo Okparanta Explores a Taboo Relationship in a War-Torn Nigeria

In her debut novel, Under the Udala Trees, Chinelo Okparanta explores sexuality in a war-torn Nigeria. Two girls, Ijeoma and Amina, must reconcile their feelings for ea ch other within a culture that only values heterosexual relationships. Although the Biafran War does not take center stage in the novel, the war’s background …

Speak No Evil by Uzodinma Iweala

Is Love Still Love If It Is Entangled With Violence From a Parent?

In Speak No Evil, Uzodinma Iweala highlights some of the realities of growing up in a Nigerian immigrant household in the U.S. Things get real for the Ikemadu family when Niru’s dad, Obi, discovers Niru is queer; “It is an abomination!” The novel tells the heartbreaking story that unfolds. Uzodinma does a …

The Thing Around Your Neck

What Does It Mean to Be a Nigerian Immigrant in America?

The Thing Around Your Neck centers on Nigerians, the Nigerian diaspora, and the performance of living between two cultures. These short stories explore what connects us to each other and our country of origin. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is adept at telling stories about the Nigerian immigrant experience in the U.S. and …

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe is a True Classic

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe was the book that sparked our desire to reclaim my time! We do this by -only- mostly reading stories written by Black and African authors. In re-reading Things Fall Apart as an adult, I see things a bit differently— at least in my conclusions about Okonkwo. …