Africa (fiction and nonfiction)

Books about Africa or by African authors. I know -- Africa's a big giant continent, but I want this list to help people focus on Africa as more than a place full of lions and giraffes.
1

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4.05 avg rating — 6,393 ratings
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2

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3.63 avg rating — 239,783 ratings
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3

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4.04 avg rating — 596,380 ratings
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4

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4.09 avg rating — 1,353 ratings
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5

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4.30 avg rating — 72,398 ratings
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6

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3.42 avg rating — 344,109 ratings
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7

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3.88 avg rating — 58,397 ratings
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8

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4.15 avg rating — 31,659 ratings
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9

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3.77 avg rating — 205,261 ratings
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10

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4.15 avg rating — 46,456 ratings
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11

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4.33 avg rating — 52,873 ratings
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12

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4.15 avg rating — 142,586 ratings
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13

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3.96 avg rating — 28,802 ratings
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14

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4.28 avg rating — 308,989 ratings
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15

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3.96 avg rating — 44,300 ratings
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16

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3.97 avg rating — 555,862 ratings
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17

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3.84 avg rating — 70,727 ratings
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18

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4.16 avg rating — 68,372 ratings
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19

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4.21 avg rating — 68,164 ratings
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20

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4.25 avg rating — 23,643 ratings
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21

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3.94 avg rating — 9,405 ratings
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22

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4.34 avg rating — 68,408 ratings
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23

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4.29 avg rating — 177,391 ratings
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24

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4.37 avg rating — 8,552 ratings
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25

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3.88 avg rating — 99,961 ratings
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26

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3.51 avg rating — 13,320 ratings
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27

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3.78 avg rating — 18,435 ratings
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28

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3.94 avg rating — 20,993 ratings
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29

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3.98 avg rating — 124,117 ratings
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30

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3.95 avg rating — 11,256 ratings
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31

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4.11 avg rating — 83,494 ratings
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32

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3.71 avg rating — 209,837 ratings
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33

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4.09 avg rating — 16,719 ratings
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34

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4.18 avg rating — 25,297 ratings
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35

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3.92 avg rating — 2,168 ratings
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36

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4.17 avg rating — 30,250 ratings
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37

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4.45 avg rating — 62,683 ratings
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38

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4.08 avg rating — 88,547 ratings
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39

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4.21 avg rating — 19,292 ratings
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40

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3.89 avg rating — 5,583 ratings
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41

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3.81 avg rating — 3,057 ratings
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42

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4.14 avg rating — 7,257 ratings
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43

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4.18 avg rating — 17,990 ratings
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44

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4.15 avg rating — 2,215 ratings
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45

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3.77 avg rating — 13,785 ratings
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46

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3.87 avg rating — 3,148 ratings
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47

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3.83 avg rating — 8,903 ratings
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48

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3.88 avg rating — 29,666 ratings
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49

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3.96 avg rating — 44,278 ratings
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49

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4.15 avg rating — 5,271 ratings
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51

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4.46 avg rating — 3,317 ratings
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52

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4.17 avg rating — 17,605 ratings
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53

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3.71 avg rating — 15,787 ratings
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54

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4.04 avg rating — 3,048 ratings
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55

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4.30 avg rating — 6,686 ratings
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56

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4.29 avg rating — 1,250 ratings
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57

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3.54 avg rating — 5,535 ratings
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58

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4.15 avg rating — 3,152 ratings
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59

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4.12 avg rating — 4,777 ratings
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60

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3.98 avg rating — 2,430 ratings
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61

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4.05 avg rating — 3,382 ratings
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62

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4.18 avg rating — 2,186 ratings
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63

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3.73 avg rating — 9,724 ratings
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64

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4.13 avg rating — 1,745 ratings
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64

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3.94 avg rating — 7,320 ratings
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66

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3.92 avg rating — 4,194 ratings
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67

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4.14 avg rating — 13,896 ratings
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68

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4.07 avg rating — 4,844 ratings
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69

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3.83 avg rating — 3,170 ratings
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70

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4.07 avg rating — 3,914 ratings
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71

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4.22 avg rating — 3,080 ratings
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72

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3.87 avg rating — 6,522 ratings
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73

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4.01 avg rating — 14,003 ratings
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74

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3.69 avg rating — 1,262 ratings
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75

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3.97 avg rating — 34,638 ratings
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76

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3.84 avg rating — 1,647,636 ratings
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77

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3.96 avg rating — 12,005 ratings
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78

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4.23 avg rating — 9,518 ratings
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79

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4.17 avg rating — 7,749 ratings
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80

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3.83 avg rating — 6,088 ratings
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81

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4.03 avg rating — 1,824 ratings
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82

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3.91 avg rating — 2,984 ratings
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83

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4.12 avg rating — 14,973 ratings
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84

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 32,422 ratings
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85

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3.88 avg rating — 1,432 ratings
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86

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4.20 avg rating — 29,703 ratings
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87

by
3.92 avg rating — 4,649 ratings
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88

by
3.85 avg rating — 13,696 ratings
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89

by
4.15 avg rating — 12,039 ratings
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90

by
4.02 avg rating — 23,453 ratings
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91

by
4.23 avg rating — 636 ratings
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92

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3.72 avg rating — 15,100 ratings
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93

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3.85 avg rating — 2,011 ratings
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94

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3.86 avg rating — 1,318 ratings
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95

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3.75 avg rating — 2,485 ratings
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95

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3.85 avg rating — 3,286 ratings
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97

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3.76 avg rating — 2,605 ratings
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98

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4.11 avg rating — 4,770 ratings
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99

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3.89 avg rating — 1,046 ratings
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100

by
4.28 avg rating — 427 ratings
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338 likes · 
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Comments Showing 1-15 of 15 (15 new)

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message 1: by Inder (last edited Sep 30, 2008 01:12PM) (new)

Inder I agree that Heart of Darkness is really about Africa in the racist imagination of colonialist Europe, and not about Africa in a factual sense. However, I think it's worth pointing out that it is generally understood to be an anti-colonialist book.

Either way, European colonialist attitudes towards Africa have played a sadly important role in shaping Africa as we know it today. So while you may find Conrad's depiction offensive (fair enough), I think it's still worth reading, if only to deconstruct it. It's still an important literary work about Africa, however you look at it.


message 2: by Christine (new)

Christine Nega Mezlekia is a worthy author to add to this list.


message 3: by Nicole (new)

Nicole Chanda's Secrets
It's for young adults, but moving and honest.


message 4: by J. A. (new)

J. A. Wooton Millicent wrote: "I'm disheartened that the number two book on this list is Conrad's Heart of Darkness. Africa was an arbitrary setting for Conrad, chosen out of racist convenience (darkness!) and because colonial ..."


COMPLETELY agree with you! I am fairly upset that Heart of Darkness ranks as #2 on this list... it's a prime example novel of colonial discourse effect and I don't think it should be featured on this list... perhaps another one, but not for this. :(


message 5: by Ðɑηηɑ (new)

Ðɑηηɑ I believe I would LOVE books about Africa. Alas, I have read some of the books above. I studied in university last year about Africa and I really loved it, I guess that is when my passion for Africa grew. I would also love to learn about my granparents' history, they are African.
A really good list, I should have thought about it.


message 6: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth Millicent wrote: "I'm disheartened that the number two book on this list is Conrad's Heart of Darkness. Africa was an arbitrary setting for Conrad, chosen out of racist convenience (darkness!) and because colonial ..."

In what way was Africa an arbitrary setting for this book? Conrad wrote this based on his own experience traveling in the Belgian Congo. I agree that his portrayal of Africans is pretty aggressively racist, but keep in mind that Conrad was just a product of his own time. You can't expect open-mindedness from a European living under the omnipresent spectre of British imperialism at the turn of the century.

I think it's an incredibly important book simply because it brought attention in Europe to the atrocities that were being committed in central Africa.


message 7: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl I think "I am Nujood" (last page) should be deleted - she is from Yemen, which is not considered part of Africa as far as I am aware.


message 8: by Beata (new)

Beata R "Reading Lolita in Tehran"- Iran is not Africa.


message 9: by Ben (last edited Jan 26, 2013 02:38PM) (new)

Ben The Liquidator by a GR author has 8 ratings and yet 32 voters, almost none of whom voted for any other book.

I smell socks...


message 10: by Tinea (new)

Tinea In the Great African Reads group, we are trying to find (or create) lists of books for each African country and region.

Here's an updated list of lists, including the countries that still need someone to make a Listopia for them.


message 11: by Wendy (new)

Wendy Sjoblom Massa Makan Diabaté from Mali could be added.


message 12: by Beth (new)

Beth As of this writing, only three of authors in the top ten are African, and only two are Black African. If you think a white British or American person has written THE book about some part of Africa, please read more African authors. I know I'm just yelling into the void here, but...ffs.


message 13: by Kojo Douglas (new)

Kojo Douglas Most of the books on this list are ABOUT Africa. One should not conflate African literature with literature ABOUT Africa.


message 14: by Kojo Douglas (new)

Kojo Douglas Beth wrote: "As of this writing, only three of authors in the top ten are African, and only two are Black African. If you think a white British or American person has written THE book about some part of Africa,..."

Not yelling into the void, it's the most important comment on this list.


message 15: by Mac (new)

Mac What about the book "African Kaiser" by Robert Gaudi?

It is a book about Paul von-Lettow Vorbeck and the war in German Southeast Africa during the Great War


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