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Highly anticipated novels from African authors coming out in 2019

Debuts, sophomores and novels in a series, these are the novels we've been waiting for!

Anticipated novels by African authors coming out in 2019

1. An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma (January 2019)

Chigozie Obioma weaves a heart-wrenching epic about destiny and determination in this contemporary twist of Homer’s Odyssey, in the mythic style of the Igbo literary tradition. Set in the outskirts of Umuahia, Nigeria and narrated by a chi, or guardian spirit, AN ORCHESTRA OF MINORITIES tells the story of Chinonso, a young poultry farmer whose soul is ignited when he sees a woman attempting to jump from a highway bridge. Horrified by her recklessness, Chinonso joins her on the roadside and hurls two of his prized chickens into the water below to express the severity of such a fall. The woman, Ndali, is stopped her in her tracks.

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2. The Freedom Artist by Ben Okri (January 2019)

The Freedom Artist has been described as "Ben Okri's most significant novel since the Man Booker-winning The Famished Road." An impassioned plea for freedom and justice, set in a world uncomfortably like our own. A young woman is arrested for speaking four simple words – Who is the Prisoner? This question resonates throughout the novel, and by the end it has become the question every reader has to ask themselves. The answer is implicit in the revelation at the heart of the story.

3. Travelers by Helon Habila (June 2019)

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Internationally acclaimed author of Oil on Water, Helon Habila, brings back a beautifully sculpted work of fiction that examines the lives of “travelers”― self- willed exiles and refugees alike.

"Accompanying his wife on a prestigious arts fellowship in Berlin, a Nigerian scholar finds there are no walls between his privileged, secure existence and the stories of other Africans on the move: among them: a transgender film student seeking the freedom to live an authentic life; a Libyan doctor who lost his wife and son in the waters of the Mediterranean; a Somalian shopkeeper who tried to save his young daughter from a marriage forced on her by an al- Shabab commander."

4. When the plums are ripe by Patrice Nganang (August 2019)

Cameroonian author Patrice Nganang writes in the second volume in a magisterial trilogy, the story of Cameroon caught between empires during World War II. He recounts the story of Cameroon’s forced entry into World War II, and in the process complicates our own understanding of that globe-spanning conflict. After the fall of France in 1940, Cameroon found itself caught between Vichy and the Free French at a time when growing nationalism advised allegiance to neither regime, and was ultimately dragged into fighting throughout North Africa on behalf of the Allies.

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5. A particular kind of Black Man by Tope Folarin (Summer 2019)

The novel tells the story of Tunde Akinola and his struggle to make sense of his new life in America. Read part of the synopsis: "Living in small-town Utah has always been an uneasy fit for Tunde Akinola’s family, especially for his Nigeria-born parents. Though Tunde speaks English with a Midwestern accent, he can’t escape the children who rub his skin and ask why the black won’t come off. As he struggles to fit in and find his place in the world, he finds little solace from his parents who are grappling with their own issues."

6. The Dragonfly sea by Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor (March 2019)

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From the award-winning author of Dust comes a vibrant, stunning coming-of-age novel about a young woman struggling to find her place in a vast world–a poignant exploration of fate, mortality, love, and loss.

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