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Sunday, 10 April 2016

Even More New Releases for 2016

It's been over six months since my New Releases for 2016 post; and four months into the year there's already even more amazing books to be excited about. Since then, Yewande Omotoso's second novel's cover was revealed and Cassava Republic Press UK launched on April 1st; and with that came three new releases - including the UK edition of Born on A TuesdayCassava Republic Press' 2016 Catalogue also reveals some really exciting 2016 titles to look forward to including The Carnivorous City by Toni Kan - a crime novel set in Lagos; and Longthroat Memoirs: Soups,Sex and Nigerian Taste Buds by Yemisi Aribisala - 'a sumptuous menu of essays about Nigerian food'.
Some of the forthcoming exciting titles from Cassava Republic Press.
Blurry camera phone images courtesy of the CRP 2016 catalogue
 Also Nii Ayikwei Parkes has two upcoming works - The City Will Love You, a collection of short stories and Azucar - his upcoming novel. Also, the US editions of Lauren Beukes' Zoo City and Moxyland will be published August 16. 



Here are some other books to add to your reading list. 

Easy Motion Tourist by Leye Adenle (April 1 2016)

Published by Cassava Republic Press, Guy Collins, a British hack, is hunting for an election story in Lagos. A decision to check out a local bar in Victoria Island ends up badly - a mutilated female body is discarded close by and Collins is picked up as a suspect. 

In the murk of a hot, groaning and bloody police station cell, Collins fears the worst. But then Amaka, a sassy guardian angel of Lagos working girls, talks the police station chief around. She assumes Collins is a BBC journo who can broadcast the city's witchcraft and body parts trade that she's on a one-woman mission to stop.

With Easy Motion Tourist's astonishing cast, Tarantino has landed in Lagos. This page turning debut crime novel pulses with the rhythm of Nigeria's mega-city, reeks of its open drains and sparkles like the champagne quaffed in its upmarket districts.




Like a Mule Bringing Ice-cream to the Sun by Sarah Ladipo Manyinka (April 1 2016)
Also published by Cassava Republic Press, Morayo Da Silva, a cosmopolitan Nigerian woman, lives in hip San Francisco. On the cusp of seventy-five, she is in good health and makes the most of it, enjoying road trips in her vintage Porsche, chatting to strangers, and recollecting characters from her favourite novels. Then she has a fall and her independence crumbles. 

Without the support of family, she relies on friends and chance encounters. As Morayo recounts her story, moving seamlessly between past and present, we meet Dawud, a charming Palestinian shopkeeper, Sage, a feisty, homeless Grateful Dead devotee, and Antonio, the poet whom Morayo desired more than her ambassador husband. 

A subtle story about ageing, friendship and loss, this is also a nuanced study of the erotic yearnings of an older woman.






When Nyamugari, an adolescent mute, attempts to ask a young woman in rural Burundi for directions to an appropriate place to relieve himself, his gestures are mistaken as premeditation for rape. To the young woman's community, his fleeing confirms his guilt, setting off a chain reaction of pursuit, mob justice, and Nyamugari's attempts at explanation. 

Young Burundian novelist Roland Rugero's second novel Baho!, is published by Phoneme Media  and is the first Burundian novel to ever be translated into English, explores the concepts of miscommunication and justice against the backdrop of war-torn Burundi's beautiful green hillsides.








In Cameroon in 1931, Sara is taken from her family and brought to Mount Pleasant as a gift for Sultan Njoya, the Bamum leader cast into exile by French colonialists. Just nine years old and on the verge of becoming one of the sultan's hundreds of wives, Sara's story takes an unexpected turn when she is recognized by Bertha, the slave in charge of training Njoya's brides, as Nebu, the son she lost tragically years before. In Sara's new life as a boy she bears witness to the world of Sultan Njoya--a magical yet declining place of artistic and intellectual minds--and hears the story of the sultan's last days in the Palace of All Dreams and of the sad fate of Nebu, the greatest artist their culture had seen.

Seven decades later, a student returns home to Cameroon to research the place it once was, and she finds Sara, silent for decades, ready to tell her story. In her serpentine tale, a lost kingdom lives again in the compromised intersection between flawed memory, tangled fiction, and faintly discernible truth. In this telling, history is invented anew and transformed--a man awakens from a coma to find the animal kingdom dancing a waltz; a spirit haunts a cocoa plantation; and a sculptor re-creates his lost love in a work of art that challenges the boundary between truth and the ideal. The award-winning novelist Patrice Nganang's lyrical and majestic Mount Pleasant is a resurrection of the world of early-twentieth-century Cameroon and an elegy for the men and women swept up in the forces of colonisation.


Safe House: Explorations in Creative NonFiction edited by Ellah Wakatama Allfrey (May 2016)
Published by Dundurn, this collection includes illuminating African narratives for readers both inside and outside the continent. 

A Nigerian immigrant to Senegal explores the increasing influence of China across the region, a Kenyan student activist writes of exile in Kampala, a Liberian scientist shares her diary of the Ebola crisis, a Nigerian journalist travels to the north to meet a community at risk, a Kenyan author travels to Senegal to interview a gay rights activist, and a South African writer recounts a tale of family discord and murder in a remote seaside town. 

In a collection that ranges from travel writing and memoir to reportage and meditative essays, editor Ellah Wakatama Allfrey has brought together some of the most talented writers of creative nonfiction from across Africa.





Song for Night by Chris Abani (May 2016)
A new edition of Song for Night is being published to mark the tenth anniversary of Telegram Books. Winner of the PEN Beyond the Margins Award, Song for Night is a devastating portrait of a boy soldier in West Africa who has been separated from his platoon whilst fighting in an unnamed civil war.  

Even with the knowledge that there are some sins too big for even God to forgive, every night my sky is still full of stars; a wonderful song for night.
Trained as a human mine detector, a boy soldier in West Africa witnesses and takes part in unspeakable brutality. At 12 his vocal cords are cut to prevent him from screaming and giving away his platoon’s presence, should he be blown up.

Awaking after an explosion to find that he’s lost his platoon, he traces his steps back through abandoned villages and rotting corpses – and through his own memories – in search of his comrades. The horror of past events is relived and gradually come to terms with as he finds some glimmers of hope and beauty in this nightmarish place.

Taduno's Song by Odafe Atogun (July 14 2016)
The day a stained brown envelope arrives from Taduno's homeland, he knows that the time has come to return from exile. 

Arriving full of trepidation, the musician discovers that his community no longer recognises him, believing that Taduno is dead. His girlfriend, Lela, has disappeared, taken away by government agents. As he wanders through his house in search of clues, he realises that any traces of his old life have been erased. All that was left of his life and himself are memories. But Taduno finds a new purpose: to unravel the mystery of his lost life and to find his lost love. Through this search, he comes to face a difficult decision: to sing for love or to sing for his people. 

Taduno's Song is a moving tale of sacrifice, love and courage. It is published by Canongate and is the debut novel from Nigerian writer Odafe Atogun.






Known and Strange Things by Teju Cole (August 9 2016)
Published by PenguinRandomHouse, this is a blazingly intelligent first book of essays from the award-winning author of Open City and Every Day Is for the Thief.
 
With this collection of more than fifty pieces on politics, photography, travel, history, and literature, Teju Cole solidifies his place as one of today’s most powerful and original voices. On page after page, deploying prose dense with beauty and ideas, he finds fresh and potent ways of interpreting art, people, and historical moments, taking in subjects from Virginia Woolf, Shakespeare, and W. G. Sebald to Instagram, Barack Obama, and Boko Haram. 

Cole brings us new considerations of James Baldwin in the age of Black Lives Matter; the African American photographer Roy DeCarava, who, forced to shoot with film calibrated exclusively for white skin tones, found his way to a startling and true depiction of black subjects; and (in an essay that inspired both praise and pushback) the White Savior Industrial Complex, the system by which African nations are sentimentally aided by an America “developed on pillage.”
 
Persuasive and provocative, erudite yet accessible, Known and Strange Things is an opportunity to live within Teju Cole’s wide-ranging enthusiasms, curiosities, and passions, and a chance to see the world in surprising and affecting new frames. 

Speak Gigantular by Ireonsen Okojie (September 29 2016)
Published by Jacaranda, Speak Gigantular is a startling short story collection from one of Britain’s rising literary stars. These stories are captivating, erotic, enigmatic and disturbing. Irenosen Okojie’s gift is in her understated humour, her light touch, her razor-sharp assessment of the best and worst of humankind, and her unflinching gaze into the darkest corners of the human experience.

In these stories Okojie creates worlds where lovelorn aliens abduct innocent coffee shop waitresses, where the London Underground is inhabited by the ghosts of errant Londoners caught between here and the hereafter, where insensitive men cheat on their mistresses and can only muster enough interest to fall for one- dimensional poster girls and where brave young women attempt to be erotically empowered at their own peril. Sexy, serious and at times downright disturbing, this brilliant debut collection sizzles with originality.

Also check out this list from BooksLive on (mainly) South African fiction to look forward to in 2016 (January to June). It includes The Powers of the Knife, the first book in the Shadow Chaser trilogy - an African fantasy adventure by Bontle Senne. What if you discovered that you come from an ancient family of Shadow Chasers, with a duty to protect others from an evil Army of Shadows? Nom is an outsider at school. When she and Zithembe become friends, life still seems ̶ well ̶ a little ordinary. But when an army of monsters threatens their world, it’s all up to the two of them … and the start of a journey into the dreamworld on a quest that will change their lives. As well as Outside the Line by Ameera Patel - a thriller and family drama about two women: Cathleen, a troubled young woman living in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg who disappears; and Flora, who is the domestic worker at Cathleen's house.

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