Fiction

image Who Is to Blame?

By Omotola Otubela


  • Title: Bled Dry
  • Author: Abdelilah Hamdouchi
  • Translator: Benjamin Smith
  • Publisher: Hoopoe
  • Number of pages: 242
  • Year of publication: 2017
  • Category: Fiction

In Abdelilah Hamdouchi’s Bled Dry, everyone is a suspect. Born in Meknes, Morocco, Abdelilah Hamdouchi is one of the first writers of police fiction in the Arabic language. Set in Casablanca, Morocco, Bled Dry was originally written in Arabic before it was translated into English by Benjamin Smith. Unlike the author’s previous books – which touched on issues surrounding migration and manipulations in international trade, Whitefly (2016), and false conviction and police brutality, The Final Bet (2016)Bled Dry digs into the minds as well as the actions and inaction of people who live in the slums of Casablanca. Here, the notion that every individual is a product of the society in which they live is effectively scrutinised. More…

image Tales of the African Experience

By Nureni Ibrahim 


  • Title: The Sea Has Drowned the Fish
  • Editors: Mamle Kabu and Martin Egblewogbe
  • Publisher: Techmate Publishers and Writers Project of Ghana
  • Number of pages: 257
  • Year of publication: 2018
  • Category: Fiction

The Sea Has Drowned the Fish is an anthology of short stories by budding and established African writers. It is the output of the Writers Project of Ghana and has some breathtaking works from familiar names such as Mary Ashun, Yewande Omotoso and Eghosa Imasuen. The writers explore a range of themes, including African culture, racial discrimination, apartheid, land alienation, political disillusionment, class struggle, love, homosexuality, sexual harassment and cultural displacement. More…

image Cutting Culture Off: A Review of Mary Karooro Okurut’s The Switch

By Timi Odueso


  • Title: The Switch
  • Author: Mary Karooro Okurut
  • Publisher: FEMRITE Publications Limited
  • Number of pages: 211
  • Year of publication: 2016
  • Category: Fiction

‘Culture can be the worst form of imprisonment’. – Dr Medard

Mary Karooro Okurut’s The Switch contains numerous exhilarating elements but first and foremost is the intensity and intrigue the first few pages offer. The suspense, right from the first few pages, is reminiscent of a thriller novel. Readers will feel the same impending sense of danger they feel in reading prolific thriller writers like James Patterson, John Grisham or Nora Roberts, and although The Switch is not a crime thriller or a mystery novel per se, it still, heavily so, employs elements from those sub-genres and that gives it a unique style. In fact, the style of writing and the elements involved are so unusual for books with the same or similar themes as The Switch that the effect is pleasantly surprising. More…

image People of the Book: A Review of Diary of a Jewish Muslim

By Ona Akinde 


  • Title: Diary of a Jewish Muslim 
  • Author: Kamal Ruhayyim 
  • Translator: Sarah Enany
  • Publisher: The American University in Cairo Press
  • Number of pages: 240
  • Year of publication: 2014
  • Category: Fiction

In the first half of the twentieth century, there were thousands of Jews living in Egypt. With the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, their lives in Egypt became increasingly difficult and many emigrated to Europe. Not only did the war have an effect on the status of things in reality, it led to a great absence of Arab Jews in African literature in Arabic. Kamal Ruhayyim, through his novels, tells stories that place Arab Jews not just at the centre of the novels, but as part of the fabric of Arab communities. More…

image Everything to See

By Omotola Otubela


  • Title: Nothing to See Here
  • Editor: Hilda Twongyeirwe
  • Publisher: FEMRITE Publications Limited
  • Number of pages: 283
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: Fiction

Nothing to See Here is an anthology that comprises sixteen short stories by sixteen African women writers. One can think of it as a box containing cupcakes of different flavours, with the flavours representing the different subject matters addressed by these stories. The icing on these cupcakes is the biographies of the authors at the end of the book. The bird perched on a wire on the book cover depicts the perspectives of not only the writers as they address certain issues but also of the readers as they perceive these stories. More…

image Appraising the Bliss of Innocence

By Ayodele Ibiyemi 


  • Title: Deserted
  • Author: Bob G Kisiki
  • Publisher: Rhema Books
  • Number of pages: 218
  • Year of publication: 2016
  • Category: Fiction

For Uganda, long years of dictatorship seem to have affected the volume of literature produced, which in any case focuses heavily on politics in the way South Africans focused on apartheid. Bob Kisiki, with four published novels, cannot be called a new author even though he does not enjoy the continent-wide fame that some of his contemporaries do. A complete man of the arts, he also writes songs, plays and newspaper columns, as well as short stories and poems. More…

image When Systems Fail Us

By Ekemini Pius


  • Title: The Honking
  • Author: Mulumba Ivan Matthias
  • Publisher: Mattville Publishing House
  • Number of pages: 311
  • Year of publication: 2017
  • Category: Fiction

Set in Uganda, Mulumba Ivan Matthias’s The Honking examines the breakdown in human relationships and social systems, and how this leads to failure in the lives of individuals, in particular, and society, in general. More…

image Freedom

By Ona Akinde 


  • Title: Zura Maids
  • Author: Apio Eunice Otuko
  • Publisher: FEMRITE Publications Limited
  • Number of pages: 300
  • Year of publication: 2017
  • Category: Fiction

When we tell our stories of Africa, we cannot do so without highlighting the reality of human trafficking, from slaves in Libya to girls sold into prostitution in Europe, with many drowning at sea in the process. It is clearly an ongoing reality. In Zura Maids, Apio Eunice Otuko’s debut novel set in Uganda, we follow the protagonist, Lena Ayugi, as she tries to gain justice for herself and save others from going through the same experiences that she did. More…

image Above and Beyond

By Munah Nicola Tarpeh


  • Title: Wrecked
  • Author: Dumebi Ezar Ehigiator
  • Publisher: Winepress Publishing
  • Number of pages: 208
  • Year of publication: 2016
  • Category: Fiction

By remembering me you remember all those innocent victims. Moving forward and forgetting what happened is forgetting me. Then there will be no reason for me to live. I live to bear witness, to tell my testimony. Once I was wrecked, maybe I still am, but now I have hope. As for my son, if there is something that tortures me, it is the tomorrow of my son.

Wrecked is the story of five remarkable women who represent a large percentage of women in Nigeria, damaged by circumstances that were set in motion before they were born, circumstances that shape what they become, some with devastating effects. More…

image Punctured Silence

By Veronica Elias Ugian


  • Title: Crocodile Girl
  • Author: Sam Omatseye
  • Publisher: Parrésia Publishers Ltd
  • Number of pages: 276
  • Year of publication: 2017
  • Category: Fiction

Crocodile Girl by Sam Omatseye brings out the bold and unique storytelling abilities of the author and attests to his experience as a renowned columnist. The novel explores the history of slavery, witchcraft, love and bravery through the character of Alero. Although considered one of the most beautiful women in Orogun, she is called ugly and evil on suspicion of killing unsuspecting strangers. Believing her to be cursed, she and her family are ‘inxiled’ by the community, but in an unexpected twist an American by the name Tim Forester, the descendant of a family of slave traders with roots traceable to the village, turns up and alters her destiny. More…