Book Reviews

Like A Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun | A Review by Elizabeth Olubukola Olaoye

Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun is better described as a memory, in spite of its status as a notable work of prose. The simple yet depth-imbuing prose of its narration notwithstanding, the text reverberates with recollections of people, places and pulses of events. Steven Rose’s statement that “(m)emories are our most […]

L’espace urbain dans le roman africain francophone | Une critique d’Ewout Decoorne

Dans un ouvrage riche et ambitieux, Joseph Ahimann Preira plonge dans l’univers de la ville dans les littératures africaines. Plus précisément, Preira nous offre une analyse profonde de la représentation de l’espace urbain à travers la tradition romanesque de l’Afrique francophone. Avec 19 écrivains et 22 romans, le corpus étudié est particulièrement extensif. Il comprend […]

“This is Johussleburg and everyone here is suffering from affluenza” | A Review of Niq Mhlongo’s Affluenza by Kirby Mania

Niq Mhlongo’s recent collection of eleven arresting stories, Affluenza, is his fourth offering published by Kwela Books. The celebrated author of Dog Eat Dog (2004), After Tears (2007), and Way Back Home (2013), Mhlongo is known for his gritty take on the various maladies plaguing post-apartheid society. This comes to the fore most prominently in […]

Mukuka Chipanta’s “A Casualty of Power” | A Review by Gilbert Braspenning

The Story A Casualty of Power is set in Chipanta’s home country Zambia, between 2005 and 2012, and portrays a country in moral decay: corruption, greed, torture and treason rule over society. And, as in many other postcolonial African novels, it is especially ordinary people who suffer from these conditions. Therefore, the novel may leave […]

Les littératures de la Corne de l’Afrique. Regards croisés – Paola Ranzini (dir.) | Une critique par Ewout Decoorne

La Corne de l’Afrique, une région aussi diverse que distincte, reste jusqu’à présent sous-représentée dans les ouvrages scientifiques consacrés aux littératures africaines. Une contribution visant à explorer les multiples expressions littéraires issues des quatre États actuels qui constituent la Corne (à savoir l’Éthiopie, la Somalie, l’Érythrée et la Djibouti) et de la diaspora en Europe […]

The Yearning –  Mohale Mashigo | A Review by Beverley Jane Cornelius

“The Yearning never stops till we embrace everything that brought us here. In our quiet denial, The Yearning devours us,” explains the narrator and protagonist at the beginning of Mohale Mashigo’s novel, The Yearning (2016). Marubini Khumalo tells the story of how she comes to learn about the secrets of her own past in order to […]

Dunia Yao. Utopia/Dystopia in Swahili Fiction – Clarissa Vierke and Katharina Greven (Eds.) | A Review by Anja Oed

Recent years have seen a renewed scholarly interest in utopian and/or dystopian literary writing more generally. With regard to postcolonial and, most specifically, African literature, Keith Booker was one of the first to comment on the fact that “while “[p]ostcolonial writers, actively engaged in the construction of cultural identities for their new societies, often include […]

The Woman Next Door – Yewande Omotoso | A Review by Katharine Geldenhuys

The Woman Next Door is Yewande Omotoso’s second novel. It follows five years after Bom Boy, for which she won the South African Literary Award for a First-time Published Author, as well as being short-listed for the South African Sunday Times Fiction Prize. The launch for The Woman Next Door took place on a chilly […]

Little Suns – Zakes Mda | A Review by Elke Seghers

There were others before him. But we start with Malangana because that is where our story begins. (p.7) The South African novelist, poet and playwright Zakes Mda, author of critically acclaimed novels like Ways of Dying and Heart of Redness, has published his tenth novel. Little Suns starts in the fashion of the oral storytelling […]

Black Inked Pearl: A Girl’s Quest – Ruth Finnegan | A Review by Sola Adeyemi

Black Inked Pearl: A Girl’s Quest by Ruth Finnegan is an unusual romance novel, the first of that kind I am going to come across in a long while. It is a poetic riddle that expresses the journey of a girl, Kate in search of lost love. The novel is set in the dream world, […]