2015 was a great year for African and Black Literature. 2016 promises to be pretty amazing too! Some great books have already been released (late 2015) – like Sweet Medicine by Panashe Chigumadzi, The Kindness of Enemies by Leila Aboulela, Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta just to name a few.
Check out the blurbs of some African, Black (African-American) and Caribbean novels I’m exited for:
(this post contains some Amazon affiliate links)
And After Many Days by Jowhor Ile
Release Date: February 16th 2016
An unforgettable debut novel about a boy who goes missing, a family that is torn apart, and a nation on the brink.
During the rainy season of 1995, in the bustling town of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, one family’s life is disrupted by the sudden disappearance of seventeen-year-old Paul Utu, beloved brother and son. As they grapple with the sudden loss of their darling boy…
In the meantime, enjoy one of Ile’s short stories here: “Somewhere Between The Borders: Supersonic Bus”
What is Not Yours is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi
Release Date: March 8th 2016
From the award-winning author of Boy, Snow, Bird and Mr. Fox comes an enchanting collection of intertwined stories.
Playful, ambitious, and exquisitely imagined, What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours is cleverly built around the idea of keys, literal and metaphorical…
We Are All Blue by Donald Molosi
Release Date: January 2016
We Are All Blue (Botswana) is a collection of two plays – Motswana: Africa, Dream Again and Blue, Black and White – by the actor and playwright Donald Molosi, including an introduction by Quett Masire, former president of Botswana…
A Walk Through Carnival by Edwidge Danticat
Release Date: January 26th 2016
Growing up in Haiti, Edwidge Danticat kept well clear of carnival—terrified by the stories of danger and debauchery that her uncle told her. Decades later, a grown woman and accomplished author, she returns home to find out what she’s been missing…
Affluenza by Niq Mhlongo
Release Date: March 20th 2016
Niq Mhlongo returns with a collection of short stories that cover the span of our democracy – the euphoria of 1994, the AIDS pandemic, xenophobia, the madness of Marikana and the Zuma presidency. The stories have been published to critical acclaim in France, Germany, Spain, Italy and the USA but remain largely unknown in South Africa. Affluenza offers us a chance to savour Niq Mhlongo’s take on the madness of the last twenty years…
When the World Wounds by Kiini Salaam
Release Date: August 9th 2016
Writing of the “other,” Kiini Ibura Salaam honed her perspective from growing up in an activist family eschewing TV, sugar, meat, convention, while centralizing self-worth, intellectual rigor, and the value, importance, and rights of black folk…
Here Comes the Sun by Nicole Dennis-Benn
Release Date: July 19th 2016
In this radiant, highly anticipated debut, a cast of unforgettable women battle for independence while a maelstrom of change threatens their Jamaican village.
Capturing the distinct rhythms of Jamaican life and dialect, Nicole Dennis- Benn pens a tender hymn to a world hidden among pristine beaches and the wide expanse of turquoise seas. At an opulent resort in Montego Bay, Margot hustles to send her younger sister, Thandi, to school…
Born on a Tuesday by Elnathan John
Release Date: May 3rd 2016 (this has already been released by Cassava Republic Press, late 2015)
From two-time Caine Prize finalist Elnathan John, a dynamic young voice from Nigeria, Born on a Tuesday is a stirring, starkly rendered first novel about a young boy struggling to find his place in a society that is fracturing along religious and political lines.
In far northwestern Nigeria, Dantala lives among a gang of street boys who sleep under a kuka tree…
In the meantime, check out Elnathan’s satirical blog here: Elnathan’s Dark Corner
Charcoal Joe: An Easy Rawling Mystery by Walter Mosley
Release Date: June 14th 2016
Walter Mosley’s indelible detective Easy Rawlins is back, with a new detective agency and a new mystery to solve.
Picking up where Rose Gold left off in L.A. in the late 1960s, Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins finds his life in transition. He’s ready to—finally—propose to his girlfriend, Bonnie Shay, and start a life together…
Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue
Release Date: August 23rd 2016
For fans of Americanah and The Lowland comes a debut novel about an immigrant couple striving to get ahead as the Great Recession hits home. With profound empathy, keen insight, and sly wit, Imbolo Mbue has written a compulsively readable story about marriage, class, race, and the trapdoors in the American Dream.
Jende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant living in Harlem, has come to the United States to provide a better life for himself, his wife, Neni, and their six-year-old son…
I Almost Forgot About You by Terry McMillan
Release Date: June 7th 2016
The #1 New York Times bestselling author of How Stella Got Her Groove Back and Waiting To Exhale is back with the inspiring story of a woman who shakes things up in her life to find greater meaning
In I Almost Forgot About You, Dr. Georgia Young’s wonderful life–great friends, family, and successful career–aren’t enough to keep her from feeling stuck and restless…
Gold of Our Fathers by Kwei Quartey
Release Date: April 26th 2016
Darko Dawson, Chief Inspector in the Ghana police service, returns in this atmospheric crime series often compared to Alexander McCall Smith’s The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency novels
Darko Dawson has just been promoted to Chief Inspector in the Ghana Police Service—the promotion even comes with a (rather modest) salary bump…
We Love You Charlie Freeman by Kaitlyn Greenidge
Release Date: March 8th 2016
“Kaitlyn Greenidge’s debut novel slips a very skillful knife under the skin of American life. This is a story about family, about language, about history and its profound echoes.” —Colum McCann
Frustrated by the limitations of cross-race communication in her predominantly white town, Laurel, a young African American girl, teaches herself to sign–a skill she later imparts to her two daughters…
The Shameful State by Sony Labou Tansi
Release Date: January 3rd 2016
Set in a fictitious African nation, this novel by the distinguished writer Sony Labou Tansi takes aim at the corruption, degeneracy, violence, and repression of political life in Africa. At the heart of The Shameful State is the story of Colonel Martillimi Lopez, the nation’s president, whose eccentricity and whims epitomize the “shameful situation in which humanity has elected to live.” Lopez stages a series of grotesque and barbaric events while his nation falls apart…
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Release Date: June 7th 2016
A riveting, kaleidoscopic debut novel and the beginning of a major career: a novel about race, history, ancestry, love, and time that traces the descendants of two sisters torn apart in eighteenth-century Africa across three hundred years in Ghana and America.
Two half sisters, Effia and Esi, unknown to each other, are born into different tribal villages in eighteenth-century Ghana…
In the meantime, enjoy a short story (which I loved!) by Gyasi here: “Inscape”
Jazz Moon by Joe Okonkwo
Release Date: May 31st 2016
In a lyrical, captivating debut set against the backdrop of the Harlem Renaissance and glittering Jazz Age Paris, Joe Okonkwo creates an evocative story of emotional and artistic awakening.
On a sweltering summer night in 1925, beauties in beaded dresses mingle with hepcats in dapper suits on the streets of Harlem. The air is thick with reefer smoke, and jazz pours out of speakeasy doorways. Ben Charles and his devoted wife, Angeline…
Even in Paradise by Elizabeth Nunez
Release Date: April 5th 2016
Peter Ducksworth, a Trinidadian widower of English ancestry, retires to Barbados, believing he will find an earthly paradise there. He decides to divide his land among his three daughters while he is alive, his intention not unlike that of King Lear’s who hoped, “That future strife / May be prevented now.” But Lear made the fatal mistake of confusing flattery with love, and so does Ducksworth…
Amid the Chaos by Nathan H. Mogos
Release Date: January 9th 2016
Some people call Eritrea the “North Korea of Africa.” But to two friends Chenkelo and Misghe, it is home.
In the picturesque capital of Asmara, these two educated young men are forced to choose between poverty and hustle as they hide from a national service conscription that would send them to the front lines…
- And finally, watch out for the much anticipated Maya Angelou DOCUMENTARY which will be released at some point this year!
What new releases are you excited about for this year? Please do share!