Can anyone suggest a good book to read on contemporary Africa?

Can anyone suggest a good book to read on contemporary Africa?

1 thought on “Can anyone suggest a good book to read on contemporary Africa?”

  1. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond, is a good place to start to understand the complicated relationship between Africa and the rest of the World.

    While Africa may seem like one continent, there are so may differences with each country, I would recommend focusing on one country at a time. Some of the books that I have read & enjoyed are:
    Chasing the Devil – On foot through Africa’s killing fields – Tim Butcher – Liberia & Sierra Leone
    Walking the Nile by Levison Wood – the documentary series is more compelling than the book – because of the on-the-ground visuals
    Born a Crime – Trevor Noah – South Africa
    Diamonds, Gold and War: The Making of South Africa – Martin Meredith
    Naguib Mahfouz for pre revolution Egypt – fiction that brings Contemporary Egypt to life
    Teju Cole – Every Day Is for the Thief – Nigeria
    Lure of the Honey Bird, The : The Storytellers of Ethiopia – Elizabeth Laird
    In Search of King Solomon’s Mines – Tahir Shah – Ethiopia
    Ethiopia through Writers Eyes – Short essays by multiple authors
    Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – most of her books are set in Nigeria

    Personally, having lived in Egypt & South Africa and traveled a lot of Africa, I tend to read a mix of guide books, non-fiction and fiction to get a feel of the country. The Insight Guides and Culture Smart Guides are great starting points, but often written from the point of view of an outsider looking in. To get a more local view, I prefer reading fiction by local writers which are much more insightful

    Do let me know if you have a particular country in mind, I may be able to suggest more recommendations

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