Best of the 2010s: Novels by African writers

The last ten years have seen writers from Africa take the literary world by storm with countless ground-breaking works that have made their way onto our bookshelves and into our hearts.

The sheer abundance of talent makes the task of picking the best massively challenging. Nonetheless, here is our attempt to list some of the best novels by African writers in the decade that was the 2010s.

Kintu (2014) – Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi

Set between 1750 and 2004 in what was pre-colonial Buganda and became Uganda, Kintu narrates the story of Kintu Kidda, upon whom a curse has been placed, and his descendants. Filled with wit, mystery and comedy, the book unveils the traditions, practices and culture of the people of Buganda while raising questions around belief systems associated with curses, magic and madness.

Remarkably Kintu barely focuses on colonialism, which was a deliberate choice by Makumbi who has explained: “Europe remains at the centre of African creative production; there is something not right about that for me.” She has also said that agents told her the novel was “too African” and that it is almost completely dismissed by Western publishers; a huge failure on their parts to recognise an incredible book.

Read more here


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