To celebrate this year’s International Women’s Day, here’s a non-exhaustive list of some excellent African women writers, and the books that put them on my list. If you click on the name, you will be taken to the author’s Wikipedia page, where available. Where I wrote a review on my blog, I have added the link below.
I’m in awe of Ms Gappah’s writing, which in my opinion is always excellent, with her distinct authorial voice. My post on Out of Darkness, Shining Light.
I loved this collection. My post on Indigo.
There is hardly any need to introduce this Zimbabwean hero. Here’s a post I wrote about her for CultureAfrica in 2021, when she received the Friedenspreis des Deutschen Buchhandels.
One of the greatest SF writers alive, she was the first writer to win the Hugo Award for Best Novel in three consecutive years, and also the first to win for all three novels in a trilogy. Her world-building is unmatched.
Another great writer. I read part of the Binti trilogy, but she has many other books.
This excellent book was one of two novels Ms Bâ wrote in French, which were both translated into many languages.
A profound read, and one of my favourite novels.
Absolutely deserved the accolades.
Pick one! Ms Adichie may be the most famous contemporary African woman writer.
This delightful book is a book everyone must read!
In addition to her novel, The Old Drift, Serpell is the author of some wonderful and sometimes experimental short stories, including The Account.
Ms Shire is a modern poet.
A wonderful addition to what is a genre on its own, Africanfuturism.
This, of course, cannot be an exhaustive list of great women writers from Africa or of African descent. Here are more writers, and the books I look forward to reading:
Oduor won the 2014 Caine Prize for African Writing for her excellent story, My Father’s Head. I look forward to her upcoming novel, out soon.
I have not read these yet (embarrassed to say), but Golakai is a prolific and excellent short story writer, and I have enjoyed her short stories.
I read Welcome to Lagos, which was interesting and rather sad. Sankofa came out in 2021, and is on my list.
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