Fiction

image Worlds All Our Own: A Review of AfroSFv2

By Tinuke Adeyi


  • Title: AfroSFv2
  • Editor: Ivor W Hartmann
  • Publisher: StoryTime
  • Number of pages: 487
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: Fiction

These worlds get you as much as they did the last time you visited. There are no disappointments. In fact, your need being greater now than at your last visit, your pleasure is doubled. Such is the response Ivor W Hartmann’s AfroSFv2 draws out of any reader whose literary pleasure centres have been sensitised by the preceding anthology he edited, AfroSF: Science Fiction by African Writers. More…

image Pinpointing the Troubles of Modern South Africa: A Review of Affluenza

By Agbonmire Ifeh


  • Title: Affluenza
  • Author: Niq Mhlongo
  • Publisher: Kwela Books
  • Number of pages: 190
  • Year of publication: 2016
  • Category: Fiction

Scientists have discovered that the brain has a negative bias that causes humans to continually look for bad news. Perhaps that explains why writers are prone to write books about sad topics. As the writer Khaled Hosseini aptly noted, ‘Sad stories make good books’. More…

image Jarring Notes: A Review of Dub Steps

By Agatha Aduro


  • Title: Dub Steps
  • Author: Andrew Miller
  • Publisher: Jacana Media (Pty) Ltd
  • Number of pages: 366
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: Fiction

Dub Steps is a novel set in a future South Africa. Initially, the only hints that the story is set in the future are references to ‘transmission paint’ and an evolving virtual reality experience that grows from virtual reality day care, for both children and adults, to graffiti broadcasts powered by mobile phone signals and transmission paint, to the ultimate thing – interactive, virtual reality sex clubs. More…

image African Oral Art or Literature?: A Review of My Father’s Song

By Tọ́pẹ́ Salaudeen-Adégòkè


  • Title: My Father’s Song
  • Author: Efo Kodjo Mawugbe
  • Publisher: Afram Publications (Ghana) Limited
  • Number of pages: 232
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: Fiction

Whether African oral art should be written down is a question that has been considered by many scholars. In fact, it has been argued that the genre should be regarded as ‘art’ and not ‘literature’. One of the perspectives on the genre, raised by a notable scholar, Ruth Finnegan, is that ‘literature’ denotes text and written material while ‘art’ works perfectly well for describing the genre because it was essentially oral and unwritten. More…

image Grieving with Sunken Eyes

By Tunji Olalere


  • Title: Sorrow’s Joy
  • Author: Ogochukwu Promise
  • Publisher: Bookcraft Ltd
  • Number of pages: 387
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: Fiction

‘The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars
But in ourselves, that we are underlings’ – Julius Caesar, Act 1, Scene 2

There are worse fates than cuckqueanry. Of the grim list, having one’s grief questioned by those who know nothing of one’s pain must rank high. In the wake of the abduction of the Chibok girls, a national cancer fungating in our breast, one social media commentator wondered if the grieving of the mothers was not exaggerated for television. A mother herself, she must have found the exhibitionism of prolonged mourning too strident for her ears. More…

image Dissections in the Anatomy of Crime

By Tomiwa Ilori


  • Title: Easy Motion Tourist
  • Author: Leye Adenle
  • Publisher: Cassava Republic Press
  • Number of pages: 327
  • Year of publication: 2016
  • Category: Fiction

Although the perennial perpetuation of untruths about Nigeria can overwhelm, Easy Motion Tourist is a fair depiction of the mass hysteria and genuine fears of Nigerian society in the ’90s. Easy Motion Tourist is a tale of human savagery, a narrative dripping with sordid details. It explores the limits of human capacity to evoke horror and, surprisingly, love. More…

image Sector IV: A Dive into Nigeria’s Divisive History

By Agbonmire Ifeh


  • Title: Sector IV
  • Author: Abigail Anaba
  • Publisher: El-jara Connections
  • Number of pages: 232
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: Fiction

Countries that take History seriously teach it to their children. Some other countries, like Nigeria, dump History off their school curricula, cover it up like excreta and run far from it. That is why Nigerian secondary schools largely ignore the pivotal and contentious history of the Civil War. We must not forget that history has the potential to repeat itself, and the defence against the recurrence of unpleasant events is knowledge and understanding. More…

image The Dissolution of the Fouries

By Agbonmire Ifeh


  • Title: What Will People Say?
  • Author: Rehana Rossouw
  • Publisher: Jacana Media (Pty) Ltd
  • Number of pages: 332
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: Fiction

Rehana Rossouw’s What Will People Say? is primarily about the dissolution of a household. The book shows that every family is besieged by forces ready to destroy it, and it takes a large counter-force to prevent that from happening. In addition, the book shows that, sadly, the managing of a home can be a losing game. One may try very hard to be a good parent yet one’s children will turn out bad. More…

image The Spirit of the Desert and the Legend It Births

By Jumoke Verissimo


  • Title: Anubis
  • Author: Ibrahim al-Koni
  • Translator: William M Hutchins
  • Publisher: The American University in Cairo Press
  • Number of pages: 184
  • Year of publication: 2014
  • Category: Fiction

Anubis is a novel that needs to be read like a sacred text, which implies reading it more than once. First, for its density and layers of meaning – the book is like a rich archaeological site that must be revisited, again and again. Second, the reader will derive great pleasure from the beauty of the book’s language. More…

image Lifting the Lid off Death: Review of A Slim, Green Silence

By Tọ́pẹ́ Salaudeen-Adégòkè


  • Title: A Slim, Green Silence
  • Author: Beverly Rycroft
  • Publisher: Umuzi
  • Number of pages: 239
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: Fiction

‘God is a comedian to an audience too afraid to laugh’. – H L Mencken, A Book of Burlesques, quoted in the novel.

A ghost stalks her house and flows above her town, Scheepersdorp, where she has lived all her life. She does not understand why Dr Mkhaliphi, a mysterious boatman, rows her back to the town in the early morning. She cannot remember for how long she has been dead. But she must solve a puzzle from her past as the boatman says, and she has until half past six in the evening to solve the puzzle by observing the everyday lives of the loved ones she left behind. More…