7 African literature books to read if you love Chinua Achebe

Even though Chinua Achebe does it best, Here are 7 other African Literature books you can read if you adore things fall apart.

Chinua Achebe

It's no secret that Things fall Apart is one of the best African Literature books ever written, but when you've read the book more than once, it is time to discover and move on to something new.

Despite what you think, there are other good and amazing African Literature authors out there you would totally enjoy.

Even though Chinua Achebe does it best, Here are 7 other African Literature books you can read if you adore things fall apart.

1. Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga

Nervous Conditions is set in late-1960s and early-1970s Rhodesia, narrated by a woman named Tambudzai who tells us about her teenage years and about her life.

This is fantastic book that shows the impact of colonialism on a scary deeper level. The novel plays out the desire for education amongst the colonised, the different ways to achieve it and the implications of it.

2. A Grain of Wheat by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o

The title of the book is taken from the Gospel According to St. John, 12:24. The novel weaves together several stories set during the state of emergency in Kenya's struggle for independence (1952–59).

The main character Mugo reminds me a lot of Achebe's Okonkwo. Mugo, a farmer and hero in the eyes of the villagers, is asked to deliver a speech during the Uhuru celebrations, to be held in memory of his friend Kihika. He refuses to make a speech and turns out to be a traitor.

3. Death and the King's Horseman: A Play by Wole Soyinka

This is perhaps Soyinka's best play, and certainly his most influential; the work cited by the Nobel Committee in awarding the 1986 prize, it has become a classic in African Literature.

Wole Soyinka's powerful play concerns the intertwined lives of Elesin Oba, the king's chief horseman; his son, Olunde, now studying medicine in England; and Simon Pilkings, the colonial district officer.

4. Houseboy by Ferdinand Oyono

Houseboy translated from French focuses on the life of Toundi Ondoua as he becomes "the Chief European's 'boy'/the dog of the King."

Toundi's attempt to fulfill a dream of advancement and improvement opens his eyes to troubling realities. Just like Okonkwo the preconceptions of the Europeans come crashing down on him as he struggles with his identity, his place in society, and the changing culture.

5. The Palm-Wine Drinkard by Amos Tutuola

The First African Literature book to be written in English. Drawing on the West African (Nigeria) Yoruba oral folktale tradition, Tutuola described the odyssey of a devoted palm-wine drinker through a nightmare of fantastic adventure.

In this book, nothing is impossible; everything can happen. Written in pidgin English, this story draws you in from the very first page and won't let you put it down.

6. Maps by Nuruddin Farah

This book tells the story of Askar, a man coming of age in the turmoil of modern Africa. With his father a victim of the bloody Ethiopian civil war and his mother dying the day of his birth, Askar struggles to find out who he is just as Somalia struggles for national identity

7. The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born by Ayi Kwei Armah

The novel is generally a satirical attack on the Ghanaian society during Kwame Nkrumah’s regime and the period immediately after independence in the 1960s. I picked this book because it is often ranked with "Things Fall Apart" as one of the high points of post-olonial African Literature.

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