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Tour d'Afrique: Africa A-Z > When we arrive in Cameroon - May + June

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message 1: by Muphyn (new)

Muphyn | 816 comments Same deal as with books for Burundi (April), post your ideas and thoughts for good reads concerning Cameroon where we'll land in May!

Here a couple of my suggestions...

Fiction
* Mongo Beti Mission to Kala
* Dervla Murphy Cameroon with Egbert
* Ferdinand Oyono Houseboy


message 2: by Manu (new)

Manu (manuherb) | 165 comments I have found only one book by a Burundian and it's not available in English: Princesse des Rugo, mon histoire by Esther Kamatari and Marie Renault (Paperback - May 9, 2001) More at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esther_K...

In Cameroon, on the other hand, we are spoiled for choice. For Mongo Beti, apart from Mission to Kala, there is his Poor Christ of Bomba.

For Ferdinand Oyono, apart from Houseboy, there is his The Old Man and the Medal.

Then there is the controversial Calixthe Beyala (accused of plagiarism)with
The Sun Hath Looked Upon Me (African Writers Series)
Your Name Shall Be Tanga (African Writers Series)
Loukoum: The 'Little Prince' of Belleville (African Writers Series)

and Werewere Liking with
The Amputated Memory: A Song-Novel (Women Writing Africa) (Hardcover)
It Shall Be of Jasper and Coral: And, Love-Across-A-Hundred-Lives : Two Novels (CARAF Books: Caribbean & African Literature Translated from French) (Paperback)

I suggest we bend the rules (if there are any), skip Burundi and spend some time in Cameroon. I read the books of Beti and Oyono which I mention, many years ago and can recommend them all. I haven't read either Beyala or Liking and think it's about time I did.




message 3: by Marieke, Former guide & Chief Chatterbox (new)

Marieke | 2838 comments Mod
Rather than skip burundi, we could choose two books for Cameroon, possibly devoting two months to Cameroon. We could also have a Cameroon spinoff if enough members become intrigued enough to beef up their stack books and continue to read along with the main group while spending some extra time in Cameroon. We don't have many rules but I'd really like to make the effort to stay on track for our tour d'afrique (so aptly dubbed by Richard), reading a book from each country in alphabetical order. We will develop a fantastic foundation for creating more specialized groups within the group, I think...


message 4: by Muphyn (new)

Muphyn | 816 comments Manu, wow, thanks so much for all your suggestions!! I figured there'd be A LOT to choose from for Cameroon.

Regarding skipping Burundi, I'm actually with Marieke - I'd rather not skip a country as I'm enjoying this tour across Africa immensely! And I think there's quite a bit on Burundi to choose from anyway (of course, as you say, we are much more spoiled for choice when it comes to Cameroon). I quite like the idea of spending two months on Cameroon, reading a couple or perhaps three books.

What are other people's thoughts?


message 5: by Manu (new)

Manu (manuherb) | 165 comments Shoshanapnw, I suggested skipping Burundi because I couldn't find a single work by a Burundian in English. If you're all happy to read non-African views of the country, so be it.


message 6: by Dana (new)

Dana | 25 comments Manu wrote: "Shoshanapnw, I suggested skipping Burundi because I couldn't find a single work by a Burundian in English. If you're all happy to read non-African views of the country, so be it. "



David Nivonzima and Gilbert Tuhabonye are both Burundian and have written non-fiction about the recent history. Both books are available in English. I like the idea of not skipping countries because it forces me to learn more about each place even in the search to find books about it.

I would prefer to read from a native viewpoint, but don't have a preference for fiction or non-fiction. I think both can be enlightening.


message 7: by Marieke, Former guide & Chief Chatterbox (new)

Marieke | 2838 comments Mod
Hi shoshana, there are no hard or fast rules...just to avoid skipping countries...we managed to find something for burkina faso so I have faith in our collective ability to find selections. People make selections, we create a poll, and we vote. So it's okay for each of us to have slightly different criteria for selecting. Our Benin selection, which I really enjoyed, was not written by someone originally from Benin and most of the story physically took place in the New World but the book was "Benin" despite that. We may have problems with smaller, less familiar countries in the future, too...like cape verde. So I propose that diaspora literature be a valid consideration, too. Anyway, we welcome all suggestions and hope to avoid skipping countries. I think we will have plenty to choose from for Burundi and should be helpful if we choose modern selections for DRC and Rwanda. As for Cameroon, we need to decide if we should read multiple books over a two-month period...thoughts?


message 8: by Dana (new)

Dana | 25 comments Can we read multiple books over a one month period for Cameroon? How many people think they can pull that off if we pick books that are readily available for most?
Do we need a poll?


message 9: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 660 comments I'm game for multiple books, or we could pick one book and then another as "suggested." (As if anybody is required to do anything:))


message 10: by Muphyn (new)

Muphyn | 816 comments I think a poll might not be a bad idea or people could just state whether they'd prefer to spend more time on Cameroon (i.e. two months) or whether to "squeeze" two (or more?) books into May.

I think I'd probably prefer to spend two months on Cameroon, one book per month (and perhaps do three books?).


message 11: by Melanie (last edited Feb 17, 2009 06:41PM) (new)

Melanie | 171 comments I like that idea of spending a couple months on one country if there are a lot of choices, especially when we start hitting countries like Kenya or South Africa (which will have tons of books).

In regards to the type of books, I am pretty much game for anything. Might be interesting when we start doing a couple books from a county to do one written by someone that is from there and one by someone not from there - we could compare and contrast a bit.


message 12: by Dana (new)

Dana | 25 comments Melanie, that sounds like a great idea to compare native vs. non-native authors!


message 13: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 660 comments I also like Melanie's idea. Some countries in particular have been examined by a lot of "outsiders" in interesting ways.



message 14: by Muphyn (new)

Muphyn | 816 comments Great idea, Melanie!! I'm all for it.

So... are people generally happy then to spend a couple of months on countries that have more extensive bodies of literature, such as Cameroon, South Africa, Kenya? How about we'd do the first month reading a book by an African writer, followed by a non-African writer the subsequent month?

Thoughts/recommendations for books on Cameroon, both by African and non-African writers?


message 15: by Marieke, Former guide & Chief Chatterbox (new)

Marieke | 2838 comments Mod
Yes I like this idea...


message 16: by Muphyn (new)

Muphyn | 816 comments Looking over this thread, it looks like we've got quite a few books on Cameron written by African writers. That's great! If you've got any other ideas, do let me know.

Any ideas for books on Cameroon written by non-Africans that we can tackle in June? (I'm presuming here that people are generally happy to spend two months on Cameroon.)


message 17: by Marieke, Former guide & Chief Chatterbox (new)

Marieke | 2838 comments Mod
I'll check the catalog at work tomorrow and see if i find some intriguing titles...


message 18: by Muphyn (last edited Apr 07, 2009 08:29PM) (new)

Muphyn | 816 comments A couple more ideas for books by African writers

short story collection
* Makuchi Your Madness Not Mine Stories of Cameroon
* Makuchi The Sacred Door and Other Stories Cameroon Folktales of the Beba

I'll set up a poll to vote for the May book.


Also found one for Cameroon by a non-African writer (memoirs by a medical missionary)

* Dieter Lemke Man No Be God Bushdoctor in Cameroon


Unless others have suggestions, we could read the book by Dieter Lemke in June (provided it's accessible) or read another book by an African writer. Thoughts?


message 19: by Muphyn (new)

Muphyn | 816 comments Go and vote for the May book: seeing Cameroon from the insider's eyes!! There are quite a few books to choose from (you can find them all in the bookshelf for easy reference) and I think it's all fiction this time!!

In June, we'll travel to Cameroon from the outsider perspective! I'm quite excited about taking our tour to Cameroon! :)


message 20: by Muphyn (new)

Muphyn | 816 comments Ok, for all those interested, the May shared book is Ferdinand Oyono's Houseboy ! hopefully everybody who's interested in joining in will be able to get hold of a copy.


message 21: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 660 comments Aldawen, I'm sure some people would be interested in discussing some of the other books as well. Maybe you could start a thread and see if you get any nibbles. I've read "Mission to Kala" recently, and plan to finish "Poor Christ of Bomba" before I start on "Houseboy." I'd hate to have you miss a month.


message 22: by Marieke, Former guide & Chief Chatterbox (new)

Marieke | 2838 comments Mod
yes, aldawen...also...the discussions are there for discussing whenever we want to...so even if you read it later than the selected month, the discussion will be waiting for your thoughts...
and don't worry, we're just at the beginning of the alphabet. this tour d'afrique will go on for quite awhile (and will hopefully make another swing or two around the continent)!


message 23: by Muphyn (new)

Muphyn | 816 comments Re. our June selection, at this stage we still only have two books by non-African authors to do with Cameroon:

* Dieter Lemke Man No Be God Bushdoctor in Cameroon
* Dervla Murphy Cameroon with Egbert

any other suggestions? or perhaps we include books by African authors in our selection again? or we could move on to the next country (cape verde)?

thoughts?


message 24: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 660 comments I'm interested in doing another book by a Cameroonian author. There are so many good ones to choose from.


message 25: by Muphyn (new)

Muphyn | 816 comments Andrea wrote: "I'm interested in doing another book by a Cameroonian author. There are so many good ones to choose from."

yes, me too. I'm thinking we could have a mixed selection of Cameroonian and non-Cameroonian authors. Perhaps include (some of?) the books we had for May?



message 26: by Muphyn (new)

Muphyn | 816 comments My apologies for announcing the June book so late! The winner is Patrice Nganang Dog Days An Animal Chronicle ! Hope everybody who's interested in reading this will be able to get hold of a copy.

[In case you're wondering why this one is the winner and not Calixthe Beyala's book - the books were tied and I then changed my vote to Patrice Nganang's book. :) Hope nobody's upset but if so, direct your complaints to me. :)]

Happy book sourcing and reading!


message 27: by Katrina (new)

Katrina (katrinasreads) Our library doesn't have either book. So I've ordered Cameroon with Egbert to read in June, I'm hoping to go back and catch up your other reads during the summer as I'm trying to read around Africa


message 28: by Melanie (last edited May 13, 2009 07:42AM) (new)

Melanie | 171 comments Katrina wrote: "Our library doesn't have either book. So I've ordered Cameroon with Egbert to read in June, I'm hoping to go back and catch up your other reads during the summer as I'm trying to read around Africa"

Hi Katrina,
Same thing for me - the only book available at my library was Cameroon with Egbert. In a week or so, I will start a thread for it in the other books section - there might be others that are reading or have read it.


message 29: by Muphyn (new)

Muphyn | 816 comments Melanie wrote: "Katrina wrote: "Our library doesn't have either book. So I've ordered Cameroon with Egbert to read in June, I'm hoping to go back and catch up your other reads during the summer as I'm trying to re..."

I might join you in your discussion (grand ambition, i realise, considering how far behind i am in my readings but you never know... :) )!


message 30: by Marieke, Former guide & Chief Chatterbox (new)

Marieke | 2838 comments Mod
i got all three from work...houseboy is short so i think i'll try for all three, too.


message 31: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 660 comments Oh you people, promises, promises. I'm really looking forward to these discussions. I have Houseboy, but will need to go looking for the other two.


message 32: by Marieke, Former guide & Chief Chatterbox (new)

Marieke | 2838 comments Mod
haha! yeah, promises, promises...and i still want to read "across the red river"!
but since moving to my new house i noticed i had read four books in two weeks so i'm redeveloping faith in myself for feeding my monster!


message 33: by Muphyn (last edited May 14, 2009 05:44PM) (new)

Muphyn | 816 comments oh man, i wish I could say the same about my reading monster... it is simply too lazy to pick up a book and read it - i just want everything on audiobook these days and have the book read TO me. :) which is precisely my problem when it comes to African Reads. very few are on audio (or accessible) and i will just have to get my act together and read myself again... :) (but i'm not making any promises! ;))


message 34: by Muphyn (new)

Muphyn | 816 comments Aldawen wrote: "Muphyn, I don't know if you'll have a chance to grab some German audio books, but perhaps you might want to have a look and try these: Afrika erzählt."

Yes, I came across the 'Afrika erzaehlt' series the other day and got very excited about the prospect of listening to African stories on audio! Thanks! I can easily order them from Amazon.de.


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