Great African Reads discussion

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Contemporary Lit | Planning > Narrative Non-Fiction (Nov 2013)

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message 1: by Marieke, Former guide & Chief Chatterbox (new)

Marieke | 2838 comments Mod
Let's hear some ideas of what we should vote on for an official group read for this genre!


message 2: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 543 comments Marieke wrote: "Let's hear some ideas of what we should vote on for an official group read for this genre!"

I will put on my thinking cap. :)


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

Marieke | 2838 comments Mod
Beverly wrote: "Marieke wrote: "Let's hear some ideas of what we should vote on for an official group read for this genre!"

I will put on my thinking cap. :)"


Thanks, Beverly! of course i will also dig into prior discussions, but i'm sure some people will have new ideas, as well. :)


message 4: by Liralen (new)

Liralen | 180 comments Mod
I'm not 100% sure what qualifies, but I'd love to read Love in the Driest Season or Not On Our Watch.

I have way too many unread books, so I'll also suggest Scribbling the Cat and To My Children's Children.


message 5: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 543 comments Not sure if some of these were already listed:

The Challenge for Africa by Wangari Maathai
Mighty Be Our Power by Leymah Ghowee
The Last Resort by Douglas Rogers
The Fear: Robert Mugabe and the Martyrdom of Zimbabwe by Peter Godwin


message 6: by Valerie (new)

Valerie I read Love in the Driest Season: A Family Memoir during the period that I was waiting to adopt my son. It's an excellent book.


message 7: by Valerie (new)

Valerie I don't know if it fits in this category but I've always wanted to read I Didn't Do It for You: How the World Betrayed a Small African Nation


message 8: by Marieke, Former guide & Chief Chatterbox (new)

Marieke | 2838 comments Mod
We have a biography/memoir genre, so this one should be more like travel writing or journalism or non-academic history. At least that is how it is in my head. (Although I love memoirs!)


message 9: by Donald (new)

Donald WOuld have put forward The Sabi
But Marieke as per above, it seems it wouldnt fall under narrative non-fiction?


message 10: by Melanie (last edited Nov 22, 2013 07:19AM) (new)

Melanie | 171 comments Out of Exile: Narratives from the Abducted and Displaced People of Sudan


The book was compiled and edited by a non African; however, all the narratives are from the people of the Darfur/Sudan region.


message 11: by Liralen (new)

Liralen | 180 comments Mod
Marieke wrote: "this one should be more like travel writing or journalism or non-academic history."

Back to the drawing board bookcase...

Not On Our Watch
A Primate's Memoir (if not too memoir-y?)

I also read A Human Being Died That Night recently and would love the chance to discuss.


message 12: by Marieke, Former guide & Chief Chatterbox (new)

Marieke | 2838 comments Mod
Maybe we can consider the Primate one as science writing. I'll look into it. And Donald, I'll look more closely at your recommendation as well.

I know it's tricky because memoir is a type of narrative nonfiction. I am half inclined not to be a huge stickler at the end of the year, but I don't want to give journalism, essays, travel writing, and the like, short shrift.


message 13: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 660 comments I would highly recommend anything by Michaela Wrong. Someone mentioned one of her books above. Sorry, I'm on a new device and haven't quite bent it to my will yet.


message 14: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 543 comments Another to add to the list:

African Perspective on Colonialism by A. Adu-Boahen


message 15: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 543 comments Andrea wrote: "I would highly recommend anything by Michaela Wrong. Someone mentioned one of her books above. Sorry, I'm on a new device and haven't quite bent it to my will yet."

I also like her work but for the "contemporary" titles I thought the author had to be African.


message 16: by Marieke, Former guide & Chief Chatterbox (new)

Marieke | 2838 comments Mod
Yes, that's correct: the author needs to be African. But I do like Wrong's work!

(Sorry, Andrea!)


message 17: by Liralen (new)

Liralen | 180 comments Mod
Ahh that takes most of my suggestions out of the running. Sorry; I didn't realise!

But I still recommend A Human Being Died That Night :)


message 18: by Marieke, Former guide & Chief Chatterbox (new)

Marieke | 2838 comments Mod
It's no problem Liralen. I hadn't really followed up on any of the recommendations just yet. We do have the other thread from previous planning so I'm sure we will have a good poll to choose from. But I do like to get new recs. :)

And also I am happy to know about these books even if they don't qualify for this particular project! :)


message 19: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (elizabethinzambia) | 73 comments One person suggested Alexandra Fuller's Scribbling the Cat- I thought her first book- Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight was better and I would recommend that over Scribbling the cat, but I also have in my TBR pile, her latest book, Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness, which I would love to get on this list.

As for Michela Wrong, In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz: Living on the Brink of Disaster in Mobutu's Congo is excellent. I also have in by TBR pile I Didn't Do It for You, so would be very happy to read that, too.

Finally, I would suggest a couple of Melissa Fay Greene's books: No Biking in the House Without a HelmetThere Is No Me Without You: One Woman's Odyssey to Rescue Africa's Children are both excellent, though the latter probably more relevant to this group.


message 20: by Marieke, Former guide & Chief Chatterbox (new)

Marieke | 2838 comments Mod
Sorry, Elizabeth, those are all authors I have read and enjoyed and would like to read more of, as I'm sure many members here would, but none of them will work since they are either memoir or written by non-Africans. We need non-fiction that is not biography/memoir but is written by someone from Africa. I know it can be confusing, sorry!


message 21: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth (elizabethinzambia) | 73 comments Technically Alexandra Fuller is African, but I appreciate your point about memoirs (and it is confusing).
Thanks


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

Marieke | 2838 comments Mod
Right, that is what I was saying: Fuller counts as an African but we have a biography/memoir genre that covers her.


message 23: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 543 comments I have been thinking that maybe we need only one category for Non-fiction. I have noticed that a lot of award programs have consolidated their non-fiction categories. The other reason I was thinking about this is that while I love narrative non-fiction most of the narrative non-fiction I want to read about Africa is written my non-Africans. Which is not surprising as the best of the narrative non-fiction is usually written by investigative journalists.


message 24: by Marieke, Former guide & Chief Chatterbox (new)

Marieke | 2838 comments Mod
We can definitely change it for 2014. I'll open a thread tomorrow for discussing plans and ideas.


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