Category: Africa

Jun 10 2020

LaGuardia by Nnedi Okorafor & Tana Ford

Yes, I am totally here for open border advocacy allegories, sci-fi tales that center non-white perspectives and experiences, and sly critiques of racism, overt or otherwise! Dr Freedom Chukwuebuka is five months pregnant when she abruptly leaves Lagos to return to New York City. She leaves behind a clinic where she treated both humans and …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/06/10/laguardia-by-nnedi-okorafor-tana-ford/

Apr 29 2020

The Colours of All the Cattle by Alexander McCall Smith

The Colours of All the Cattle

The back cover of The Colours of All the Cattle calls this book, the twentieth in the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, “the one with the election.” Indeed, a special election for a seat on the Gabarone city council dominates the stories told in The Colours of All the Cattle. The council is closely …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2020/04/29/the-colours-of-all-the-cattle-by-alexander-mccall-smith/

Nov 02 2019

Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi

Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi

I’m pretty sure I would have liked this more if it had been more speculative fiction and less MFA. Thing is, it’s an entirely worthy book. If it wasn’t for Freshwater, I would have no idea what a non-binary trans person is, and I’m richer for having found out. But I didn’t find out from …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/11/02/freshwater-by-akwaeke-emezi/

Aug 03 2019

Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor

Binti: The Night Masquerade

It’s nearly impossible to talk about Binti: The Night Masquerade without discussing elements of Binti and Binti: Home, so I am not even going to try. And to be honest, the best thing that happens in Binti: The Night Masquerade, from a storytelling perspective, is a plot surprise a bit more than halfway through the …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/08/03/binti-the-night-masquerade-by-nnedi-okorafor/

Jul 27 2019

Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor

Binti: Home

Binti told the classic science fiction story of a talented young person from the hinterlands — and an outsider from an outsider people in those hinterlands — who gains admission to wider worlds by dint of talent and hard work. Unlike many of those stories, though, Binti’s is interrupted by violence and tragedy even before she …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/07/27/binti-home-by-nnedi-okorafor/

Jul 24 2019

The Black God’s Drums by P. Djèlí Clark

The Black God's Drums

“The night in New Orleans always got something going on, ma maman used to say—like this city don’t know how to sleep.” (p. 7) It doesn’t, and neither does P. Djèlí Clark’s splendid, exciting, enchanting novella The Black God’s Drums. Clark’s first-person narrator, a slightly feral young woman named Creeper, makes her own way in …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/07/24/the-black-gods-drums-by-p-djeli-clark/

Jul 19 2019

Welcome to Lagos by Chibundu Onuzo

Welcome to Lagos begins well outside of the Nigerian metropolis, at a hot and dirty army outpost somewhere in the Niger delta: oil country, but also rebel country. Serving under a corrupt colonel and terrorizing local people is not what Chike Ameobi signed up for the army to do. After twelve months as an officer …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/07/19/welcome-to-lagos-by-chibundu-onuzo/

May 31 2019

The House of Unexpected Sisters by Alexander McCall Smith

The House of Unexpected Sisters

“That’s the mystery series where no one dies, right?” said Kid One. Yes it is, I said. “Well how can there be danger?” Ah, that’s the genius of this series, isn’t it? And oh, sweet youth, to think that death is the only kind of peril that’s strong enough to drive a story. Heartbreak, humiliation, …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/05/31/the-house-of-unexpected-sisters-by-alexander-mccall-smith/

Mar 30 2019

My Sister, The Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

This was so great. Told in short, easily digestible chapters that skip between past and present, My Sister, The Serial Killer is narrated by Korede, a nurse in Lagos whose younger sister is developing the unsettling habit of killing off her boyfriends. The first death had a panicked Ayoola begging her meticulous older sister to …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/03/30/my-sister-the-serial-killer-by-oyinkan-braithwaite/

Mar 08 2019

Black Leopard, Red Wolf (The Dark Star Trilogy #1) by Marlon James

This is a daunting book to read, and not because of its length or its subject matter or, even, commitment to violence and vulgarity, but because it isn’t written like a book. The tale of Red Wolf (or Tracker, as he prefers to be called) is an oral history told, for the most part, by …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.thefrumiousconsortium.net/2019/03/08/black-leopard-red-wolf-the-dark-star-trilogy-1-by-marlon-james/