Contemporary African fiction is a relatively new discovery for me. Fiction, in general, has never interested me as much as non-fiction lit.

startingOutInAfricanLiteratureAs I got older, make-believe characters and made up drama repelled me, I like to know that what I’m reading is factual, has some truth and is relevant to real life. But then my friend and fellow blogger, Mabel, introduced me to some very interesting authors who penned stories with characters I could relate to.

Being Ghanaian-American, it’s always nice to read about, hear of, or come across stories of other young Americans who share my West African heritage.  It’s also eye-opening to read about life from the perspective of young and or revolutionary thinkers on the continent. Through Contemporary African fiction, I’ve discovered the world where people are telling our stories in a modern, pragmatic, passionate way.

Currently, I’m engrossed in Half of a Yellow Sun, a beautifully written war-time romance novel that illustrates nuances of African culture in such a poetic way; one that I’ve never experienced before.

Now I can appreciate how a good novel can acquaint me with history while enlightening me about unfamiliar African events and customs. This novel was set during Nigeria’s Biafra war. I’ve heard of this war once or twice, briefly mentioned, among my Nigerian friends, but I never knew what the war was about. Now I do.

Making the connection

I’ve written before about Africa’s untold stories and discovering Africa’s colorful fabric of cultures through books. My goal is to read African classics and biographies of our philanthropists, our pioneers, our musicians, our artists. But there’s no better way to put it all together than by picking up good African fiction.

Watch my girl Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie explain the danger of a single story in her famous TED Talk:


“The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


I hope I come across other authors like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I’m sure the Warren M. Robbins Library is a good place to find buried treasure. I found some blogs that showcase African lit reviews too.

Ready to get started in African literature? Check out the 100 must-read books for smart African women  and get started today!

What are some of your favorite titles in African literature?

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