Sally Bissell

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Jollof Rice and Other Revolutions: A Novel in Interlocking Stories

These beautifully rendered stories form an impressive whole that will please multiple literary tastes, combining Nigerian history with a touch of mysticism, and contemporary familial angst with a dire futuristic vision.


Will appeal to aficionados of historical fiction but could leave others yearning for a deeper understanding of the characters’ motivations for their sometimes inexplicable actions. Still, the Nobel Prize bestowed renewed international acclaim on Gurnah’s body of work, making this novel a must-have.

Properties of Thirst

In lush language, Wiggins evokes a keen sense of history and its life altering effects, a righteous frustration with government deception, and faith in the power of love to quench one’s deepest thirsts.

Patience Is a Subtle Thief

Abi Ishola-Ayodeji, award-winning journalist and television producer, can add accomplished author to her accolades with publication of this intense debut novel that explores the deleterious effects of secrets kept and the wrenching choices one woman makes in her search for identity and connection.

Dele Weds Destiny

The intricacies of female friendships and the complex nature of mother/daughter relationships are at the heart of this absorbing novel from BuzzFeed culture editor Obaro, a sharp new voice on the literary scene.

The Garden of Broken Things

Superlative in her ability to portray the interior lives of mothers and their 24/7 litany of self-recrimination, Momplaisir also tackles themes of racism, immigration, and the lasting effects of colonialism. A notable achievement.

Things They Lost

Caine Prize winner Oduor explores generational abuse and violence with a gentle touch, managing to elicit compassion rather than judgment for these withholding mothers and daughters. From the novel’s dazzling first sentence to its gratifying conclusion, readers will be mesmerized by Oduor’s linguistic skills. Highly recommended.


The anthropomorphic motif has been effectively employed in adult literature like Animal Farm or Watership Down but feels distracting here, creating an emotional distance between the reader and the four-legged characters. Perhaps through living, breathing human beings, Bulawayo could have better amplified the grim reality of those living under oppressive governments and the courage required to rise up in glory.


Osunde writes like the visual artist they are, having directed and produced Tatafo, a forthcoming film based on this novel. Their vibrant style breathes life into people whom hypocritical politicians would prefer remain hidden. Ideal for readers of Akwaeke Emezi.

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