African novels

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Mar 26th, 2001, 08:13 AM
  #1
Sam
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African novels

Can anyone recommend any novels to read to keep me going until my planned trip to Kenya? Not necessarily set in Kenya, any African location is fine.
 
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Mar 26th, 2001, 01:24 PM
  #2
Lisa
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The first thing that pops into mind is anything by Wilbur Smith.
2nd is Born Free by Joy Adams (Hope I have the name right)
I'm sure you have seen the movies Out of Africa and "Gorillas in the Mist". Although with all the disasters that befall the main character in the first movie I mentioned, it is enough to put you off going to Africa!
Have to go and check my own personal library and will get back to you.
 
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Apr 14th, 2001, 04:24 PM
  #3
Amy
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Try "The Poisonwood Bible", it is on Oprah's Book Club.
 
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Apr 14th, 2001, 05:33 PM
  #4
April
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Any story set in Africa by Laurens van der Post such as The Heart of the Hunter, or Venture to the Interior.
 
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Apr 14th, 2001, 05:49 PM
  #5
April
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Also, The Forest People by Colin Turnbull.
 
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Apr 15th, 2001, 09:46 AM
  #6
Sabrina
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"Things Fall Apart" by Chinua Achebe. It is a classic.

 
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Apr 15th, 2001, 11:36 AM
  #7
Louise
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For non-fiction you might try "Out of America" by Keith Richburg. He is an African-American journalist who returns to Africa on assignment. His experiences are amazing and it really gives insight into the African peoples and their tribal structure.
 
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Apr 17th, 2001, 01:03 PM
  #8
lisa
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My favorite novel set in Africa is "The Power of One," by Bryce Courtenay, followed closely by "The Poisonwood Bible" by Barbara Kingsolver. Also, I think "The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint Exupery qualifies, sort of.

You didn't ask about nonfiction but here are some ideas anyway: "Out of Africa" by Isak Dinesen, "West with the Night" by Beryl Markham, "I Dreamed of Africa" by Kuki Gallman.

Others that have been well-reviewed that are still on my list to read: "No Mercy: A Journey to the Heart of the Congo" by Redmond O'Hanlon, and "We Wish to Inform You that Tomorrow We Will be Killed with our Families: Stories from Rwanda" by Philip Gourevitch.
 
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Apr 17th, 2001, 05:14 PM
  #9
olivia
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Before traveling to Kenya last month, I read the new thriller by John LeCarre: The Constant Gardener. Much of the action takes place in Kenya. A disturbing amount of the background of the book is true (e.g., President Moi, the pharmaceutical industry, corruption of government official etc.)--our German friends told us that their neighbor's offer to give the book to another friend living in Kenya was quickly turned down. President Moi is to step down next year (there is a new limit of two 5-terms which expires for him next year), but, many are not sure he will do so.

An unsolved murder in the 1940's among the British expatriate community in Kenya is the topic of other recently published books available in Kenya: White Mischief and an autobiography by Juanita Carberry. White Mischief has been made into a movie and is meticulously researched. Juanita Carberry's version really gives you a flavor of that community.
 
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Apr 25th, 2001, 01:48 PM
  #10
Penelope
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A classic is Conrad's "Heart of Darkness." Others to consider are Carol Spindel's "In the Shadow of the Sacred Grove" (her experience of living in the Ivory Coast), Caroline Alexander's "One Dry Season, In the Footsteps of Mary Kingsley," (Mary was an intrepid English traveler in Gabon in the late 19th century), and Helen Winternitz's "East Along the Equator, A Journey up the Congo and into Zaire." P
 
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Apr 25th, 2001, 01:51 PM
  #11
Penelope
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P.S.I see that I did not read your message well. Only Conrad is fiction; the others are non-fiction, but no less readable and enjoyable. P
 
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Apr 26th, 2001, 07:36 PM
  #12
Jone
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To restate a prior response, you should read "West with the Night" by Beryl Markham. It is a wonderful, wonderful book for anyone, even if you aren't going to Kenya. After reading the book you will want to go to Africa even if you weren't planning a trip.
 
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May 8th, 2001, 05:51 PM
  #13
Marcia
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I'm currently reading "A Primate's Memoir", by Robert M. Sapolsky. It's an hilarious account of the author's life in Kenya, studying baboons. Like a guided tour of Africa! Great book.
 
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Aug 30th, 2001, 11:50 AM
  #14
lynne
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petals of blood is a novel that takes place in kenya in about the 1960s
jomo kenyatts anthropoligical account of african tribal history is wonderful - nonfiction
 
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Sep 10th, 2001, 08:13 AM
  #15
jhm
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Not sure if you have even left yet! But a few: The Famished Road by Ben Okri, A Bend In The River by V.S. Naipaul, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen.
 
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Sep 11th, 2001, 06:50 PM
  #16
sandy
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Without a doubt the most moving bnovel i have read about Arrica is "Green City in the Sun" -- by Barbara Wood. You'd enjoy it more if you were a woman, however. For a man, I second the suggestion about Wilbur Smith. Fantastic stories, great characters, and a real sense of what Africa is all about. And did anyone mention "the Flame Trees of Thikka?" I know, I know . . . it's non-fiction. But wonderful! And Isak Dinesen's other book, "Shadows in the Grass," is every bit as good as "Out of Africa."
 
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Sep 12th, 2001, 10:14 PM
  #17
John G
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I highly recommend Nadine Gordimer's BURGER'S DAUGHTER. This is the story of apartheid in South Africa. I also recommend Baroness Karen Blixen's OUT OF AFRICA for its sense of atmosphere. And, yes, Elspeth Huxley's THE FLAME TREES OF THIKA. If you want to read of Old Cairo, please read PALACE WALK by Maugib Mahfouz. Finally, a novel about Alexandria, Lawrence Durell's JUSTINE.
 
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Sep 14th, 2001, 10:02 PM
  #18
fran
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Two books that come to mind are: Uhuru (not sure of the author-maybe Robert Ruark). Takes place in Kenya during the time of Mau Mau. And then Cry the Beloved Cry, which is set in South Africa.
 
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Sep 16th, 2001, 09:30 AM
  #19
Sue & Steve
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The Man Eaters of Tsavo by Col. J H Patterson and The Shadow of Kilimanjaro by Rick Ridgeway are not novels but factual accounts of Kenyan experiences.
 
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Sep 19th, 2001, 07:38 AM
  #20
pat
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West with the night!
 
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