Black History Month Books

To celebrate Black History Month we have put together ten of the best books by writers of African origin.

  • Things Fall Apart

    by Chinua Achebe
    Penguin Classics
    Okonowo is the greatest warrior alive. His fame has spread like a bushfire in West Africa and he is one of the most powerful men of his clan. But he also has a fiery temper.
  • Purple Hibiscus

    by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    Kambili, the 15-year-old protagonist, her brother Jaja, and their mother Beatrice would seem, from the outside, to have an ideal life under care of her father – the self-made businessman, newspaper proprietor and humble servant of the Catholic Church.
  • We Need New Names

    by NoViolet Bulawayo
    Chatto & Windus
    Through the eyes of a young girl, Darling, we are given a startling insight into events in Zimbabwe during a time of great change.
  • Broken Glass

    by Alain Mabanckou
    Serpent's Tail
    Alain Mabanckou's darkly glittering novel is an astringent portrait of post-colonial ennui and contemporary African social collapse, as well as a brilliantly witty homage to the written word.
  • How to Read the Air

    by Dinaw Mengestu
    Jonathan Cape
    Dinaw Mengestu's second novel is a thing of beauty, delicate fractured beauty, but beauty all the same. Weaving together two road trips tracing the same ground, Mengestu injects life into the old 'tracing your past to understand your present/change your...
  • Black Mamba Boy

    by Nadifa Mohamed
    Black Mamba Boy is a sumptuous and bittersweet journey book that starts in Aden in 1935 in war-torn Eritrea and Sudan, to Egypt, Palestine and to Britain.
  • Ghana Must Go

    by Taiye Selasi
    This is one of the year's best debuts and an accomplished masterstroke from the future voice of a generation.
  • White Teeth

    by Zadie Smith
    Assured, audacious, good-hearted, impressive, raucous and funny: these are just some of the plaudits that greeted Zadie Smithís exuberant and incredibly successful debut novel.
  • Ake: The Years of Childhood

    by Wole Soyinka
    Methuen Publishing
    The first volume of Wole Soyinka's acclaimed series of autobiographical works. This vivid, exuberant book is the author's account of his childhood in colonial Nigeria.
  • Wizard of the Crow

    by Ngugi Wa Thiongo
    Ngugi's most recent novel is a sprawling, fierce, scalding epic that turns a pitiless gaze on a postcolonial African dictatorship in the fictional country of Aburiria.