Posted by: zhiv | March 29, 2008

Africa Reading Challenge

Okay.  I started this blog at the beginning of the year, and it has been fun, although it’s progressing in fits and starts.  But you can look at the categories and some of the small number of posts and see that I’m eager to do an Africa reading challenge, since I’ve already been in the midst of it, more or less. 

Here’s my list:

Olive Schreiner, by Ruth First & Ann Scott

A Bend in the River, VS Naipaul

Scarlet Song, Mariama Ba

Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe

The Mirror at Midnight, Adam Hochschild

Burger’s Daughter, Nadine Gordimer

July’s People, Nadine Gordimer

Move Your Shadow, Joseph Lelyveld

I would link to a couple of prior posts, called Africa?, in my small set, but they should be easy to find and show a little bit about how I got here.  I’ve been reading Coetzee and A Story of an African Farm, and started with Brink’s Dry White Season.  I had planned to read Gordimer, but am interested in expanding things lately.  And I’ve also been working on a link between Olive Schreiner and African Farm and Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, which has exactly the same formal structure as Schreiner’s book.  My first post on Schreiner and Woolf is a preliminary mess, just a rambling blog spew, but I’ve been working on a “paper” of sorts for a few weeks.

Looking forward to good reading and having fun.


  1. Very interesting list. Rather unbelievably, I’ve never read Gordimer so she’s on my African reading challenge list as well.

  2. I have a love-hate thing with Gordimer. Actually, more of a like-hate. I liked July’s People and I hated Get A Life. Flicking through her latest short story collection, Beethoven Was One Sixteenth Black, I see her prose has become more and more tricky to read with age….her age, not mine.

    An African reading challenge is different. Good luck with it. You seem almost stuck in South Africa though. Here’s a few suggestions: Nuruddin Farah, Tayeb Salih, Kole Omotoso,. And that’s not even looking up to the North Africans, in the likes of Yasmina Khadra, Naguib Mahfouz, and, I suppose, Albert Camus.

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