Taken from Columbia University’s African Studies page.
Africa’s 100 Best Books of the 20th Century
An initiative of the Zimbabwe International Book Fair
Over the last hundred years African writers have written of their lives, experiences, culture, history and myth; they have written in diverse forms, styles and in many languages. They have been published widely on the African continent, in Europe, the Americas and Asia. They have written in English, French, Portuguese, Arabic, Swahili, and in many other indigenous languages. And they have written with extraordinary originality, flair and great integrity. Nonetheless their work as a corpus deriving from the African continent remains largely unknown and uncelebrated.
To mark the beginning of the 21st century, and encouraged by Professor Ali Mazrui, the Zimbabwe International Book Fair has launched the international compilation of “Africa’s 100 Best Books.” This project is being organized in collaboration with the African Publishers Network (APNET), the Pan-African Booksellers Association (PABA), African writers’ associations, book development councils, and library associations.
Nominations were sought throughout the African continent and internationally.
The aim of this endeavour is:- to celebrate the achievements of African writers over the last century- to stimulate debate, discussion, reading, criticism and analysis of African writing- to foster the publication and development of new titles and those that are currently out of print- to encourage translation of different texts- to promote the sale and exchange of books continent-wide and throughout the world- and above all to increase awareness and knowledge of books and writing by African authors.
Definition of an African
Only books written by Africans are eligible. After extensive discussion and debate the ZIBF has for the purpose of this project identified an African as: ‘someone either born in Africa or who became a citizen of an African country.’ This definition incorporates those African writers who have moved from their countries of birth to other continents. The issue of authors who are not by this definition deemed African but who consider themselves such or those who have made a notable contribution to African scholarship and literature will be addressed on their merit should their books be nominated.
The jury selected books in 3 main categories:
– Literature for Children– Creative Writing– Scholarship/non-fiction
Woyingi Blogger’s Note: I’ve bolded the novels I own.
Yes, I do have a fair amount of books (note my reference to a book-buying addiction in my profile). Now my readers can have an idea of how incredibly well read I am (aren’t I full of myself).
It is my intention to some day own all 100 of Africa’s best books of the 20th century. However, many of these books are out of print which is tragic really.
Please tell me if any of the links are unavailable.
2. Achebe, Chinua (Nigeria) Arrow of God
3. Achebe, Chinua (Nigeria) Things Fall Apart
11. Brink, André (South Africa) A Dry White Season
12. Bugul, Ken (Senegal) Riwan, ou le chemin de sable
13. Cheney-Choker, Syl (Sierra Leone) The Last Harmattan of Alusine Dunbar
14. Chraibi, Driss (Morocco) Le passé simple
17. Craveirinha, José (Mozambique) Karingana ua Karingana
20. Dib, Mohammed (Algeria) La grande maison, L’incendie, Le métier à tisser
23. Djebar, Assia (Algeria) L’amour, la fantasia
24. Emecheta, Buchi (Nigeria) The Joys of Motherhood
26. Farah, Nuruddin (Somalia) Maps
28. Ghitani, Jamal al- (Egypt) Zayni Barakat
29. Gordimer, Nadine (South Africa) Burgher’s Daughter
30. Head, Bessie (South Africa) A Question of Power
31. Honwana, Bernardo (Mozambique) Nos matamos o cão tinhoso
44. Monenembo, Tierno (Guinea) Un attieké pour Elgass
53. P’Bitek, Okot (Uganda) Song of Lawino
54. Pepetela (Angola) A geração da utopia
57. Sassine, Williams (Guinea) Le jeune homme de sable
60. Serote, Mongane (South Africa) Third World Express
61. Shabaan, Robert Bin (Tanzania) Utenzi wa vita vya uhuru
71. Amin, Samir (Egypt) Accumulation on a World Scale
74. Appiah, Anthony (Ghana) In My Father’s House
75. Cabral, Amilcar (Guinea-Bissau) Unity and Struggle
76. Chimera, Rocha (Kenya) Kiswahili, past, present and future horizons
77. Diop, Cheikh Anta (Senegal) Antériorité des civilisations nègres
78. Doorkenoo, Efua (Ghana) Cutting the Rose
79. Hayford, J.E. Casely (Ghana) Ethiopia Unbound
80. Hountondji, Paulin (Benin) Sur la philosophie africaine
81. Johnson, Samuel (Nigeria) The History of the Yorubas
82. Kenyatta, Jomo (Kenya) Facing Mount Kenya
83. Ki-Zerbo, Joseph (Burkina Faso) Histoire de l’Afrique noire
84. Krog, Antjie (South Africa) Country of My Skull
85. Mama, Amina (Nigeria) Beyond the Mask, Race, Gender and Identity
86. Mamdani, Mahmood (Uganda) Citizen and Subject
87. Mandela, Nelson (South Africa) Long Walk to Freedom
91. Mphahlele, Ezekiel (South Africa) Down Second Avenue
92. Mudimbe, V.Y. (Dem. Rep. of Congo) The Invention of Africa
93. Nkrumah, Kwame (Ghana) Ghana: The Autobiography of Kwame Nkrumah
94. Plaatje, Sol (South Africa) Native Life in South Africa
Literature for Children
98. Al-Homi, Hayam Abbas (Egypt) Adventures of a Breath
100. Tadjo, Veronique (Côte d’Ivoire) Mamy Wata et le monstre