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Recommendations? > Historical Fiction Set In Africa

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message 1: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly I'm looking for any historical fiction set in Africa from any time period. Thanks in advance!


message 2: by Kenya (new)

Kenya | 4 comments Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart is pretty good. Even though I had to read this book for school, I actually kind of enjoyed it. Not sure if this is the kind of book you're looking for, but hope I could help!


message 3: by Zoe (last edited Oct 24, 2011 12:19AM) (new)

Zoe Saadia (ZoeSaadia) | 377 comments I would recommend The Poisonwood Bible of Barbara Kingsolver.
Enjoyed this one enormously :)


message 4: by Shay (last edited Oct 24, 2011 04:47AM) (new)

Shay | 384 comments The Covenant by James A. Michener

What is the What by Dave Eggers

I noticed this GR Group- check out their bookshelves for suggestions: http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/9...


message 5: by JenC. (new)

JenC. (jencornelius) | 487 comments The Poisonwood Bible is excellent. I also really enjoyed The Power of One, set in South Africa and Cutting for Stone, set in Ethiopia.


message 6: by Jamie (new)

Jamie  | 77 comments The Power of One is one of my favorite books - I recommend this one, as well.


message 7: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly JenC. wrote: "The Poisonwood Bible is excellent. I also really enjoyed The Power of One, set in South Africa and Cutting for Stone, set in Ethiopia."

Thanks! I especially love books set in South Africa as it's where my family is from.


message 8: by Shay (new)

Shay | 384 comments Kimberly wrote: "JenC. wrote: "The Poisonwood Bible is excellent. I also really enjoyed The Power of One, set in South Africa and Cutting for Stone, set in Ethiopia."

Thanks! I especia..."


Have you read any books by J.M. Coetzee? He's a South African author. I know that The Covenant is mostly set in South Africa.


message 9: by Liam (new)

Liam I enjoyed reading Zulu Hart by Saul David. It's the 1st book he wrote, its not completely accurate, but it is a highly enjoyable read.


message 10: by Shomeret (new)

Shomeret | 444 comments Do you like historical mysteries? There are two mysteries by Malla Nunn set in 1950's South Africa. The first isA Beautiful Place to Dieand the second isLet the Dead Lie. I read the first one and liked it. I haven't yet read the second.


message 11: by Shay (new)

Shay | 384 comments Steven Barnes writes a (series?) set in prehistoric Africa. I came across it because his book Lion's Blood: A Novel of Slavery and Freedom in an Alternate America came up in my recommendations. Lion's Blood is an alternative history type book. Great Sky Woman: A Novel and Shadow Valley are the ones set in prehistoric Africa. Can't vouch for any of them as I haven't read them. I do have Lion's Blood on my bookshelf, though.


message 12: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (redheadedjen) | 11 comments Alexandra Fuller's Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood and Scribbling the Catdeal with growing up in Rhodesia, the war and the aftermath.


message 13: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn (seeford) | 37 comments Wilbur Smith wrote many books set in Africa (he was born in Zambia), the first one is When the Lion Feeds.


message 14: by Rebecca (last edited Oct 24, 2011 12:41PM) (new)

Rebecca I loved Poisonwood Bible. I also enjoyed The Witch Doctors Wife by Tamar Meyers. The Amanda Brown #1. I see also The Headhunters Daughter was released this year.
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/63...
also.

The Headhunter's Daughter (Amanda Brown #2)
by Tamar Myers

http://www.goodreads.com/book/photo/8...


message 15: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Carolyn wrote: "Wilbur Smith wrote many books set in Africa (he was born in Zambia), the first one is When the Lion Feeds."

I love Wilbur Smith's books.


message 16: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Thanks for the recommendaions everyone! I've already read The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver and wasn't a fan of it. I'll be looking at the others.


message 17: by Nancy from NJ (new)

Katz Nancy from NJ (Nancyk18) I read two books set in Africa a while back. I really enjoyed them although they weren't real literary historical fiction.

East of the Sun

Green City in the Sun


message 18: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Nancy wrote: "I read two books set in Africa a while back. I really enjoyed them although they weren't real literary historical fiction.

East of the Sun

Green City in the Sun"

I believe I have the second one sitting on my bookshelf in my library room.


message 19: by Shay (new)

Shay | 384 comments Running the Rift by Naomi Benaron just came up in my GR recommendations. Looks good.


message 20: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Thank you!


message 21: by Darrell (new)

Darrell Delamaide | 12 comments Mark of the Lion is set in 1919, mostly in East Africa.


message 22: by J.S. (new)

J.S. Dunn (httpwwwjsdunnbookscom) | 43 comments Am finishing Ivory From Paradise, South Africa's history told in flashbacks from the present using a family history. Wonderfully done, literary in flavor but not overwritten. It also gives a balanced viewpoint on the effects of apartheid that is often lacking in, say, journalism.


message 23: by Gabriel (last edited Nov 23, 2011 05:37PM) (new)

Gabriel | 129 comments Empires of Sand
As the other have commented Wilbur Smith writes a lot of stories in Africa. Birds of Prey and River God: A Novel of Ancient Egypt


message 24: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Thank you Darrell, J.S., and Gabriel.. thankfully I own most of Wilbur Smith's books so I can get to them in the new year. The other recommendations seem really good.


Allison (The Allure of Books) (inconceivably) | 426 comments Glad to see this thread exists! I'm reading Roots: The Saga of an American Family right now and absolutely loving it, and am definitely wanting more reads set in Africa!


message 26: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Allison (The Allure of Books) wrote: "Glad to see this thread exists! I'm reading Roots: The Saga of an American Family right now and absolutely loving it, and am definitely wanting more reads set in Africa!"

I've read that book about a dozen times in the last 8 years :)


message 27: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay (ArcherLindsay) | 10 comments I just finished a fabulous book that I have been waiting for a chance to rave about and here i found a good one!

I just read Mark of the Lion and couldn't put it down. To that end I rushed to the library to pick up number 2. Book takes place just after WW1 and the book features a female main character full of moxie. If you are familiar with Out of Africa (movie with R. Redford and M. Streep) this book takes place in the same area of Africa and indeed they get a cameo mention in the novel. It's a good mystery/HF book and I rated it 4.5 stars.


message 28: by Courtney (last edited Feb 22, 2012 06:34PM) (new)

Courtney | 23 comments Most likely you've seen the movie (I've never seen it), but I just started reading
The African Queen by C.S. ForesterThe African Queen.
It's amazing, really the characterizations of Rose and Charlie are what make this a classic adventure novel. As for it being HF, it's set in WWI era Tanzania, then known as German East Africa. The main character is British, you can begin to see the problem.


message 29: by Diane S ☔ (new)

Diane S ☔ Not to long ago I read and loved Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away by Christie Watson.


message 30: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie Diane wrote: "Not to long ago I read and loved Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away by Christie Watson."

I agree! I really enjoyed that too!


message 31: by jb (new)

jb Byrkit (jbbyrkit) Courtney wrote: "Most likely you've seen the movie (I've never seen it), but I just started reading
The African Queen by C.S. ForesterThe African Queen.
It's amazing, really the characterizations o..."


I have never read the book, but always loved the movie (first saw it as a kid).


message 32: by Nancy from NJ (new)

Katz Nancy from NJ (Nancyk18) I loved Green City in the Sun by Barbara Bickmore.


message 33: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Lindsay wrote: "I just finished a fabulous book that I have been waiting for a chance to rave about and here i found a good one!

I just read Mark of the Lion and couldn't put it down. To that end..."


Thanks I actually found that one months ago and plan on reading it this month.


message 34: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay (ArcherLindsay) | 10 comments Kimberly wrote: "Lindsay wrote: "I just finished a fabulous book that I have been waiting for a chance to rave about and here i found a good one!

I just read Mark of the Lion and couldn't put it do..."


I just finished the second one in the series, the title escapes me now but it's more focused on elephants and it is excellent. I am going out to llok for all of these books!

Enjoy Mark of the Lion


Victoria_Grossack Grossack (VictoriaGrossack) | 605 comments If you want some rather light reading, try MM Kaye's Death in Zanzibar or Death in Kenya - cozy mysteries, but the author traveled extensively and took copious notes, so her details and descriptions are pretty good.


message 36: by JoLene, Mistress of the Challenge (last edited Mar 18, 2012 06:46PM) (new)

JoLene (trvl2mtns) | 1729 comments I have also enjoyed several of the Wilbur Smith books. River God: A Novel of Ancient Egypt is really amazing. His series about the Courtney's is a bit hit and miss for me, but there is definitely a lot of history about Southern Africa. I had the wonderful experience of traveling around Namibia while reading The Burning Shore.

I also remember reading several books by Barbara Wood while I was living in France. I think a couple of them had African settings, but I don't remember the names. At the time, the covers looked a bit like romance novels, and I was surprised because a male friend (definitely not a romance reader) gave them to me to read. The adage you can't judge a book by its cover was definitely true :-D


message 37: by Holly (new)

Holly Jones | 1 comments If you have a Kindle, then Sons of Africa by Jeffrey Whittam is an excellent read.


message 38: by JoLene, Mistress of the Challenge (new)

JoLene (trvl2mtns) | 1729 comments I just finished Cry, the Beloved Country. It's not HF but it about South Africa in the 1940's just prior to the institution of Apartheid policies. I would highly recommend this.


message 39: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly Thank you all so much for the recommendations!


message 40: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie Jolene, I just went and bought the audio of Cry, the Beloved Country! :0)


message 41: by Kimberly (new)

Kimberly JoLene wrote: "I just finished Cry, the Beloved Country. It's not HF but it about South Africa in the 1940's just prior to the institution of Apartheid policies. I would highly recommend this."

I bought that one last year, I have a special place in my heart for South Africa because that's where my dad is from. He was born in 1935 and experienced Apartheid first hand. I've yet to read it though.


message 42: by JoLene, Mistress of the Challenge (new)

JoLene (trvl2mtns) | 1729 comments Yeah, happy that more people will read this wonderful book. I spent a month in South Africa in 2004. It is a really amazing place, both in good qualities and not so good qualities.


message 43: by Chrissie (new)

Chrissie Thank you, Jolene, for telling us about it.


message 44: by Nancy from NJ (new)

Katz Nancy from NJ (Nancyk18) Kimberly wrote: "JoLene wrote: "I just finished Cry, the Beloved Country. It's not HF but it about South Africa in the 1940's just prior to the institution of Apartheid policies. I would highly recomm..."

I also read this book in high school many years ago and have reread it for book groups on more than one occassion. I remember then a I do now the impact this made on my then adolescent being.

Another title which I vividly remember is Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. Provides a way of life few of us know anything about especially in the year 2012.


message 45: by Bonnie (new)

Bonnie You know, it might be time to change the timeline of historical fiction from before the WWs to the 50s or even 60s now- although being born then that does seem weird.


message 46: by ~Leslie~ (new)

~Leslie~ (akareadingmachine) Not truly historical fiction either, but I just finished Cutting for Stone  by Abraham Vergheseand it was amazing. It is set in Ethiopia during the 50's and 60's to present time. Highly recommend it.


message 47: by Jack (new)

Jack Durish (JackDurish) | 28 comments Bonnie wrote: "You know, it might be time to change the timeline of historical fiction from before the WWs to the 50s or even 60s now- although being born then that does seem weird."

Is there some "official" timeline for what is historical and what is not? I never heard of it. I recently published a novel about Castro's Revolution in Cuba set in the period from 1956 to 1959. Little more than 50 years ago and yet it seems historically significant to me. And, yes, it's weird being older that history.


message 48: by Bonnie (new)

Bonnie Jack wrote: "Bonnie wrote: "You know, it might be time to change the timeline of historical fiction from before the WWs to the 50s or even 60s now- although being born then that does seem weird."

Is there some..."

I had heard it had to be before the WW's, but maybe not now. What is your novel Jack? I have always been interested in that revolution- probably from having a semi-communist (:)) history/ss teacher in HS who covered and discussed the good as well as the bad that Castro did.


message 49: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Dray (StephanieDray) | 55 comments Kenya wrote: "Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart is pretty good. Even though I had to read this book for school, I actually kind of enjoyed it. Not sure if this is the kind of book you're looking for, but hope I ..."

Wow, that's a powerful book but I'm not sure if it's exactly historical fiction. I mean, it is, but it's more of a literary political history...


message 50: by JoLene, Mistress of the Challenge (last edited Apr 06, 2012 11:06PM) (new)

JoLene (trvl2mtns) | 1729 comments The generally accepted definition of historical fiction is fiction set at least 50 years prior to the publication date, so books set in the 50's and 60's that are published today are considered HF. I believe the reasoning is that some amount of historical research is needed for a writer to create authentic period details....even though, that isn't necessarily true since writers older than 50 can write using childhood memories.

The reason that Cry, the Beloved Country is not HF is because it was published in The 1940's and the time period is the early 1940's. So, while it is historical from today's perspective, it isn't considered historical fiction. I know that I personally just like reading about the past so if it's considered HF isn't important (except for our challenges --- because I picked it and then realized it wouldn't qualify :-D)


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Books mentioned in this topic

The Poisonwood Bible (other topics)
The Covenant (other topics)
What Is the What (other topics)
The Power of One (other topics)
Cutting for Stone (other topics)
More...

Authors mentioned in this topic

James A. Michener (other topics)
Dave Eggers (other topics)
J.M. Coetzee (other topics)
Steven Barnes (other topics)
Wilbur Smith (other topics)
More...