Fiction

image And after Many Reviews

By Dami Ajayi


  • Title: And after Many Days
  • Author: Jowhor Ile
  • Publisher: Kachifo Limited
  • Number of pages: 287
  • Year of publication: 2016
  • Category: Fiction

Jowhor Ile’s debut novel, And after Many Days, has been panned by some readers and critics. More…

image A Paradigm of Familial Love and Loss

By Tọ́pẹ́ Salaudeen-Adégòkè


  • Title: And after Many Days
  • Author: Jowhor Ile
  • Publisher: Kachifo Limited
  • Number of pages: 287
  • Year of publication: 2016
  • Category: Fiction

Family is beautiful, an institution of love that binds more than mere friendship when genuine love is present. Family is not just a group of individuals who live together – the fraternal love and amity between siblings is wonderful when it is present. And, to be fortunate enough to have people who can be regarded as relatives is to be blessed immensely. More…

image Give the Jew a Muslim Burial

By Tolu Akinwole


  • Title: Menorahs and Minarets
  • Author: Kamal Ruhayyim
  • Translator: Sarah Enany
  • Publisher: Hoopoe
  • Number of pages: 256
  • Year of publication: 2017
  • Category: Fiction

‘They could hardly believe what they were seeing: a dead Jew, and a Muslim funeral’ (p 249).

These are good times for readers; novelists are boldly taking on issues of immense socio-political significance, and novels are igniting lively debates. Kamal Ruhayyim is one such novelist; Menorahs and Minarets is one such novel. Days in the Diaspora (2012) and Diary of a Jewish Muslim (2014) heralded Menorahs and Minarets, which concludes a compelling trilogy. Menorahs and Minarets does not merely paint ‘an uncompromising portrait of an older generation dictating how their children live and love’ as the blurb proclaims, it is an insightful x-ray of the socially significant effects of the clash of menorahs and minarets on the private life of a man caught in that conflict. More…

image A Vigorous Nod to Existence

By Adaudo Anyiam-Osigwe


  • Title: Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun
  • Author: Sarah Ladipo Manyika
  • Publisher: Cassava Republic Press
  • Number of pages: 118
  • Year of publication: 2016
  • Category: Fiction

Sarah Ladipo Manyika’s short novel, Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun, centres on the elderly Dr Morayo Da Silva, and is a considerate meditation on life’s daily triumphs and setbacks. Our moments and actions accumulate into years and stories that are embodied in a lifetime. As a former English professor, Morayo is deeply attached to books. However, as one discovers more about Morayo’s life, there is a realisation that this deep attachment is a form of solace, and not just solace but also a way to seek control over the meaning of death and betrayal. More…

image A Review of Glowfly Dance

By Agatha Aduro


  • Title: Glowfly Dance
  • Author: Jade Gibson
  • Publisher: Umuzi
  • Number of pages: 438
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: Fiction

People think that when you are fourteen you know nothing, but I have seen so much, I have a thousand stories, burning and shining and rising within me, and all I can do is try to catch them, one by one, because I only have the moments, fading in and out, when everything else is gone (p 7).

This is how Jade Gibson introduces us to Mai, the major protagonist of Glowfly Dance. The entire first chapter is an innocuous, nearly idyllic introduction to the book, and it speaks of glowflies, the smell of blood oranges and of dancing and cherry blossoms. The reader is completely in the dark regarding the horrors that are lurking in the subsequent chapters. More…

image Repetitions in a Gory History

By Adebiyi Olusolape


  • Title: After They Left
  • Author: Edify Yakusak
  • Publisher: Kurdan Publishing
  • Number of pages: 244
  • Year of publication: 2016
  • Category: Fiction

Damaging and deeply painful, the history and contemporary reality of communal violence in Nigeria has generated not only loss and then more loss but also discussions, critical debate over terms like ‘settlers’ and ‘indigenes’, over ‘animist’, ‘atheist’, ‘christian’ as well as ‘muslim’. Every bout of violence warrants an historical excursion to the last time there was a ‘crisis’, a ‘riot’, a ‘clash’ as well as the crisis/ riot/ clash before that last clash/ riot/ crisis. More…

image A Journey into Loss, Almost Winning and Saudade

By Agbonmire Ifeh


  • Title: The Seed Thief
  • Author: Jacqui L’Ange
  • Publisher: Umuzi
  • Number of pages: 320
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: Fiction

Maddy Bellani’s life is in serious turmoil. She has been losing in almost every aspect of her life except her work. She is estranged from her father. Her mother is dead. Her boyfriend is a cheat, and she has ended the relationship. However, she is obsessed with plants and seeds, and she is a botanist. In her own words, ‘I need green’ (p 16). More…

image Rótìmí

By Jumoke Verissimo


  • Title: Stay with Me
  • Author: Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀
  • Publisher: Ouida Books
  • Number of pages: 306
  • Year of publication: 2017
  • Category: Fiction

For many newly-weds, aside from the many domestic variables, a vital hope for the marriage is that the bride will get pregnant at the expected time, as the expectation is that children will come. Well, until they do not come. This then becomes the problem that weaves the family in an emotional tangle. The couple, their relatives and even their friends cannot escape the discomfiture of proffering and/or listening to solutions that range from the absolutely ridiculous to the medically untenable. This unspeakable sorrow of childless couples who desire children is the pivot of Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀’s debut novel, Stay with Me. In it, she tells a gripping story, exploring the anxieties of childlessness, weaving that around the themes of sickle-cell disease, love and superstition, all with an effusive display of Yoruba culture. More…

image What about Meera?

By Tolu Akinwole


  • Title: What about Meera
  • Author: Z P Dala
  • Publisher: Umuzi
  • Number of pages: 256
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: Fiction

What about Meera is not a question; it is a fervent quest for the place of the socially marginalised in the scheme of things. What about Meera is not a question; it is a witty record of the palpitations of broken hearts and broken dreams. What about Meera is not a question; it is a determined unearthing of buried sherds, tracing the quotidian struggles of the peasant Indians of Tongaat (‘in rich detail’, the blurb adds). Z P Dala’s debut offering follows the escape of a young, South African woman of Indian descent from Durban to Dublin in search of life and love. More…

image The Naguib Mahfouz Reader: Portrait of a Novelist as a Historian

By Emeka Ugwu


  • Title: The Naguib Mahfouz Reader
  • Editor: Denys Johnson-Davies
  • Publisher: The American University in Cairo Press
  • Number of pages: 327
  • Year of publication: 2016
  • Category: Fiction and Autobiography

‘You can’t understand Egypt without Mahfouz – without his characters, with whom every reader, Arab or not, can identify’. – Tahar Ben Jelloun

‘The older distinction between fiction and history [must] give place to the recognition that we can only know the actual by contrasting it with or likening it to the imaginable’. – Hayden White

Edited by Denys Johnson-Davies, whom the cultural critic and public intellectual Edward Said described as ‘the leading Arabic-English translator of our time’, The Naguib Mahfouz Reader starts an unwitting reader out on a heady journey straight into the heart of modern Egypt. It is a book that houses English translations of a small selection of short stories, excerpts of novels and autobiographical works by the Egyptian Nobel Laureate, Naguib Mahfouz. The collection showcases writings that span six decades, from 1944 to 2004. More…