African Interest

African Interest

  • Beneath the Darkening Sky

    Beneath the Darkening Sky

    Ksh 1899

    Brief Summary  On the day that Obinna’s village is savagely attacked by the rebel army and his father murdered, he witnesses violence beyond his imagination. Along with his older brother he finds himself thrown into a truck when the soldiers leave, to be shaped into an agent of horror – a child soldier.  Marched through minefields and forced into battle, enduring a brutal daily existence, Obinna slowly works out which parts of himself to save and which to sacrifice in this world turned upside down. Beneath the Darkening Sky is a terrifyingly powerful, brilliantly insightful portrait of how a human being copes when forced to become inhuman. Like all great fiction, it imagines the unimaginable, and announces the arrival of a searing new voice from the heart of Africa.  

  • Dance of the Jakaranda

    Dance of the Jakaranda

    Ksh 1599

    Brief Summary  Set in the shadow of Kenya's independence from Great Britain, Dance of the Jakaranda reimagines the special circumstances that brought black, brown and white men together to lay the railroad that heralded the birth of the nation. The novel traces the lives and loves of three men--preacher Richard Turnbull, the colonial administrator Ian McDonald, and Indian technician Babu Salim--whose lives intersect when they are implicated in the controversial birth of a child. Years later, when Babu's grandson Rajan--who ekes out a living by singing Babu's epic tales of the railway's construction--accidentally kisses a mysterious stranger in a dark nightclub, the encounter provides the spark to illuminate the three men's shared, murky past. With its riveting multiracial, multicultural cast and diverse literary allusions, Dance of the Jakaranda could well be a story of globalization. Yet the novel is firmly anchored in the African oral storytelling tradition, its language a dreamy, exalted, and earthy mix that creates new thresholds of identity, providing a fresh metaphor for race in contemporary Africa.   

  • Infinite Riches

    Infinite Riches

    Ksh 1599

    Brief Summary  Azaro is a spirit child. He made a pact with his spirit companions that when he was born he would die at the first opportunity, but after his birth, he broke the pact and continued to live.  His spirit companions threatened to send seven spirits to reclaim him. So far, five have tried and failed, but the remaining two are the most dangerous of all.  This continuation of the story of Azaro is rich with allegorical vision, and interwoven with the politics of Nigeria.

  • Little Mogadishu Eastleigh Nairobi's Global Somali Hub

    Little Mogadishu Eastleigh Nairobi's Global Somali Hub

    Ksh 2999

    Brief Summary Nairobi’s Eastleigh estate has undergone profound change over the past two decades. Previously a quiet residential zone, the arrival of vast numbers of Somali refugees catalyzed its transformation into ‘Little Mogadishu’, a global hub for Somali business. Dozens of malls and hotels have sprouted from its muddy streets, attracting thousands of shoppers.  Nonetheless, despite boosting Kenya’s economy, the estate and its residents are held in suspicion over alleged links to Islamic terrorism, especially after the 2013 Westgate Mall attack, while local and international media have suggested with little evidence that its economic boom owes much to capital derived from Indian Ocean piracy. In contrast to such sensationalized reporting, Little Mogadishu is based on detailed historical and ethnographic research and explores the social and historical underpinnings of this economic boom. It examines how transnational networks converged on Eastleigh in the wake of the collapse of the Somali state, attracting capital from the Somali diaspora, and bringing goods—especially clothes and electronics—from Dubai, China and elsewhere that are much in demand in East Africa. In so doing, Little Mogadishu provides a compelling case-study of the developmental impact Diasporas and transnational trade can have, albeit in a country where many see this development as suspect.

  • Damned Nations Greed Guns Armies and Aid

    Damned Nations Greed Guns Armies and Aid

    Ksh 1899

    Brief Summary  In 1995, twenty-five-year-old Samantha Nutt, a recent medical-school graduate and a field volunteer for UNICEF, touched down in Baidoa, Somalia, the "City of Death." What she saw there would spur her on to a lifetime of passionate advocacy for children and families in war-torn areas around the world.  Damned Nations is the brilliant distillation of Dr. Nutt's observations over the course of fifteen years providing hands-on care in some of the world's most violent flashpoints, all the while building the world class non-profit War Child North America.  Combining original research with her personal story, it is a deeply thoughtful meditation on war as it is being waged around the world against millions of civilians -- primarily women and children. Nutt's boundless energy, dedication, and compassion shine through on every page as she lays out real, lasting solutions to these problems and shows how to move beyond outdated notions of charity towards a more progressive, inclusive, and respectful world view.

  • True Citizen

    True Citizen

    Ksh 1199

    Brief Summary  Maina is a violent robber whose disgust for blood and craving to be loved forces him to quit for a better career. But when Maina lands the job of a taxi driver, he realizes that he has slipped into the underworld bedeviled by corrupt traffic police, city council officers, and cartels.  Maina’s only child, Maria, is dying of a bone disease and his wife has had her womb surgically removed. A traffic police officer slaps him with trumped-up charges prompting his sack. Kama, his conductor, plans a revenge against the entire traffic police force. Maina buys into the idea and heads the revenge mission.  Another woman comes into Maina’s life. Roger, a famous hacker in Nairobi’s underworld, and his friends join in. All the security arms react with brute force. Maina has to dodge the scheming security organs. Will Maina survive the emotional breakdown from a dying daughter and fend off the seduction of another woman and still get his revenge?   

  • An Abundance of Scorpions

    An Abundance of Scorpions

    Ksh 1799

    Book Summary Following a horrific tragedy, Tambaya leaves Kano for Accra to live with her brother, Aminu. Sadly, her dream of a new beginning is dashed when she can no longer endure the indignity she suffers at the hands of her brother’s new wife. Tambaya returns to northern Nigeria and soon finds work as a matron in an orphanage, under the watchful eye of the ruthless Miss Scholastica. Just when she begins to settle into her new life, an unexpected visit threatens to destroy everything she has worked so hard to build. Tambaya faces moral dilemmas on all sides, but she must stop her life from unravelling once again. Vulnerable, and surrounded by malice, corruption and greed, Tambaya struggles to shape her destiny. An Abundance of Scorpions charts one woman’s journey through grief and uncertainty to a road that leads to self-discovery, redemption and love. 

  • African Myths and Folk Tales

    African Myths and Folk Tales

    Ksh 899

    Book Summary How was the earth formed, and where did animals come from? Why does the hippopotamus live in water, and why do cats chase rats? Imaginative answers to these and other age-old questions can be found among the rich oral traditions of Africa. Generations of listeners have delighted in these fanciful explanations of the natural, moral, and spiritual worlds, which unfold amid a realm of talking animals, magic drums, tricksters, and fairies. Known as the "Father of Black History," Carter Godwin Woodson was among the first scholars to promote the history and achievements of African-Americans. His compilation of fables about a jealous blind man, a disobedient daughter, a rivalry among brothers, and other timeless predicaments is punctuated with thought-provoking proverbs and gentle humor. Told in simple language, these tales will enchant readers and listeners of all ages. Over sixty evocative illustrations appear throughout the book.  

  • African Love Stories An Anthology

    African Love Stories An Anthology

    Ksh 1599

    Book Summary African love stories? Is that not some kind of anomaly? This radical collection of short stories, most published in this edition for the first time, aims to debunk the myth about African women as impoverished helpless victims. With origins that span the content, it combines budding writers with award-winning authors; the result is a melting pot of narratives from intriguing and informed perspectives. These twenty odd tales deal with challenging themes and represent some of the most complex of love stories. Many are at once heart breaking yet heartwarming and even courageous. In Badoe's hilarious 'The Rival', we encounter a 14 -year-old girl who is determined to capture her uncle's heart. His wife, she decided would just have to go. Mr. Mensah the uncle is all of sixty years old.  Crafted by a stellar cast of authors that includes El Saadawi, Ogundipe, Magona, Tadjo, Krog, Aboulela, Adichie, Oyeyemi, wa Goro, Atta, Manyika and Baingana, there is hardly any aspect of women's love life untouched. From labour pains to burials, teenagers to octogenarians, and not to mention race-fraught and same-sex relationships, the human heart is all out there: beleaguered and bleeding, or bold, and occasionally triumphant.  It is highly recommended that you the reader take the stories one at a time, so that you meet the women protagonists individually. So that you can listen to them and hear their hearts properly" whether Sudanese, Kenyan, Ghanaian, Nigerian or Zimbabwean. As for the tales as a whole, you might find them eye-opening, perhaps even inspirational, but above all, you will be entertained by them.  

  • Africa 39 New Writing from Africa south of the Sahara

    Africa 39 New Writing from Africa south of the Sahara

    Ksh 1599

    Book Summary In 2014, UNESCO's World Book Capital is Port Harcourt, Nigeria-the first city in Africa to receive the designation by public bid. This makes it a special year for the Port Harcourt Book Festival, which will be in its seventh year, and bigger than ever. They are joining forces with the internationally renowned Hay Festival, which will bring to Port Harcourt its 39 Project-a competition to identify the thirty-nine most promising young talents under the age of forty in sub-Saharan Africa and the diaspora. It follows the success of Bogotá 39 in 2007 and Beirut 39 in 2010.  Both recognized a number of authors who now have international profiles: in Bogotá, Adriana Lisboa, Alejandro Zambra, Juan Gabriel Vásquez, Daniel Alarcón, and Junot Díaz; in Beirut, Randa Jarrar, Joumana Haddad, Abdellah Taia, Samar Yazbek, and Faiza Guene. In Nigeria this year, the esteemed judges include leading-edge publisher Margaret Busby; novelist and playwright Elechi Amadi,writer and scholar Osonye Tess Onwueme, and Caine Prize winner Binyavanga Wainaina. For the second time, Bloomsbury is honored to be a part of the festivities, publishing worldwide Africa39-a collection of brand new work from these talented thirty-nine. With an introduction by Wole Soyinka, Africa39 is a must-read for anyone curious about Africa today and Africa tomorrow, as envisioned through the eyes of its brightest literary stars.

  • A Womans Body is a Country Poems

    A Womans Body is a Country Poems

    Ksh 1399

    Book review “Dami Ajayi writes poignantly about family, loss, trauma, and the mystery of the human psyche with compassion and deep insight. With poems reaching always for the redemptive, Ajayi renders a seldom seen vulnerability in Nigerian poetics, leaving the reader with more hope and full of light.” – Chris Abani "The poems in this book are aesthetically passionate and sensually fearless. This poet teaches us anew the possibilities for language and the erotic. A Woman’s Body is a Country is tenacious, vital, honed. Dami Ajayi is a compelling and brilliant poet." – Uche Nduka "Dami Ajayi journeys into emotional borders that reveal the burdens of transitions, offering us lyrical poetry that reinvents perspectives. Here is the poetry of the quotidian, a philosophic and profound interrogation of relationships, of words, of bodies and their burdens, of times and time. There is poetry here, and it breathes." – Jumoke Verissimo "A Woman’s Body is a Country is a work of impressive artistry. The power of these poems lies in their ability to transform ordinary everyday phenomena into memorable, lyrical nuggets of experience. Dami Ajayi is a very exciting new voice, not just in Nigerian poetry but for the world." – Harry Garuba  

  • Dedan Kimathi The Real Story

    Dedan Kimathi The Real Story

    Ksh 899

    Brief Summary  “To most people, Dedan Kimathi, the man who led the Mau Mau movement in Kenya’s forests in the 1950s to win freedom from the British Empire, has remained a shadowy and enigmatic figure.  Attempts to portray his heroic and fascinating life have produced varying results, ranging from historical distortion to artistic idealism.  

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