Get inspired with ONE’s summer reading list 2015!

Get inspired with ONE’s summer reading list 2015!

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Featured Authors from left to right: Alain Mabanckou, Chimamanda Adichie, Leila Aboulela, Dinaw Mengestu, Teju Cole

Now that July is just around the corner, it’s time to kick your summer reading into gear with these novels from incredible African authors. Ranging from the riotously funny to the romantic, revolutionary to reflective, these reads are sure to captivate you.

Leila Aboulela

Leila Aboulela: born in Cairo, Egypt and grew up in Khartoum, Sudan.

Minaret (2005)

Leila Aboulela

“With her Muslim hijab and down-turned gaze, Najwa is invisible to most eyes, especially to the rich families whose houses she cleans in London. Twenty years ago, Najwa, then at university in Khartoum, would never have imagined that one day she would be a maid. An upper-class Westernized Sudanese, her dreams were to marry well and raise a family. But a coup forces the young woman and her family into political exile in London. Soon orphaned, she finds solace and companionship within the Muslim community. Then Najwa meets Tamer, the intense, lonely younger brother of her employer. They find a common bond in faith and slowly, silently, begin to fall in love. Written with directness and force, Minaret is a lyric and insightful novel about Islam and an alluring glimpse into a culture Westerners are only just beginning to understand.”

half_of_a_yellow_sun_-_chimamanda_adichie

Chimamanda Adichie: born and raised in Nigeria.

Half of a Yellow Sun (2007)

Chimamanda Adichie

“With effortless grace, celebrated author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie illuminates a seminal moment in modern African history: Biafra’s impassioned struggle to establish an independent republic in southeastern Nigeria during the late 1960s. We experience this tumultuous decade alongside five unforgettable characters: Ugwu, a thirteen-year-old houseboy who works for Odenigbo, a university professor full of revolutionary zeal; Olanna, the professor’s beautiful young mistress who has abandoned her life in Lagos for a dusty town and her lover’s charm; and Richard, a shy young Englishman infatuated with Olanna’s willful twin sister Kainene. Half of a Yellow Sun is a tremendously evocative novel of the promise, hope, and disappointment of the Biafran war.”

Teju Cole: Born in Kalamazoo, MI to nigerian parents and moved to Lagos, Nigeria shortly after birth.

Teju Cole: born in Kalamazoo, MI to Nigerian parents and moved to Lagos, Nigeria shortly after birth.

Open City: A novel – Teju Cole (2012)

Along the streets of Manhattan, a young Nigerian doctor named Julius wanders, reflecting on his relationships, his recent breakup with his girlfriend, his present, his past. He encounters people from different cultures and classes who will provide insight on his journey—which takes him to Brussels, to the Nigeria of his youth, and into the most unrecognizable facets of his own soul.”

 

 

 

 

Born and raised in Congo-Brazzaville and moved to France for University (and stayed)

Alain Mabanckou: born and raised in Congo-Brazzaville and moved to France for University.

Broken Glass – Alain Mabanckou (2009)

“Alain Mabanckou’s riotous new novel centers on the patrons of a run-down bar in the Congo. In a country that appears to have forgotten the importance of remembering, a former schoolteacher and bar regular nicknamed Broken Glass has been elected to record their stories for posterity. But Broken Glass fails spectacularly at staying out of trouble as one denizen after another wants to rewrite history in an attempt at making sure his portrayal will properly reflect their exciting and dynamic lives. Despondent over this apparent triumph of self-delusion over self-awareness, Broken Glass drowns his sorrows in red wine and riffs on the great books of Africa and the West.”

Born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and moved to Peoria, IL when 2 yo during war.

Dinaw Mengestu: born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and moved to Peoria, IL during wartime at 2 years old.

All Our Names – Dinaw Mengestu (2015)

“Fleeing war-torn Uganda for the American Midwest, Isaac begins a passionate affair with the social worker assigned to him. But the couple’s bond is inescapably darkened by the secrets of Isaac’s past: the country and the conflict he left behind and the beloved friend who changed the course of his life—and sacrificed everything to ensure his freedom.”

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