From Book Riot to the Wall Street Journal: The Best African Books in 2015

by - 09:18

So it's that time of year again, where the lists of the best books of the year come out ... and I decided to check them out to see which books by African writers made it. This year, from Book Riot to the Wall Street Journal - and many publications in between - there were 3 books which were on most of the best of lists, with The Fishermen having seven mentions. 


Over on the Wall Street Journal and Book Riot, there was The Fishermen, which was also on NYTs 100 Notable Books of 2015 and the Guardian's Best Fiction in 2015, where it was described as 'the best debut of the year by some distance.' The Mersault Investigation made it onto NYTs best books of 2015 and Boston Globe, while NPRs list included Under the Udala Trees (also on BuzzFeed's 24 Best Fiction Books) and The Fishermen. The Fishermen and Under the Udala Trees also make it on to the The Root's 15 Powerful Works of Fiction Published by Black Authors in 2015 (and also check out their 14 of the Best Non-Fiction by Black Authors in 2015).

Clearly there were more than 3 awesome books published by African writers this year, as highlighted in The Sunday Times Book Reviewers Best Books of 2015. The Fishermen was there, but other top books included 101 Detectives, Beastkeeper, Green Lion, What Will People Say? and The Raft to name some. It was also a breath of fresh air to see BuzzFeed have Lagoon (which was published in America this year) on their 24 Best Science Fiction Books of 2015


Update: I initially included Paula Hawkins' Girl on the Train on this list (but decided in the end to not include it, as while Paula Hawkins was born and raised in Zimbabwe and lived there until she was 17 - she is described as a British author. Still, NPRs list included The Girl on the Train (which also tops Amazons list of best selling books of 2015 and was on KirkusPublishers WeeklyGoodreadsHuffPost Canada and Barnes & Noble's best of list) - giving it the same mentions as The Fishermen.

Another update: After I posted this morning, LitHub announced their best books of 2015, which included Tram 83 and Folly (published for the first time in the UK in November). I also stumbled on FTs Best Fiction in Translation, which had The Mersault Investigation and A General Theory of Oblivion.


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