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African Authors Offered Up a Host of Worlds to Escape To

Combining the keepers of the literary old guard and exciting new voices, the titles in this list featuring some of the best books by African writers published in 2020 excavate a forgotten history, reflect on life today and manoeuvre through an uncertain future. For the first time in nearly half a century, Wole Soyinka published a book in a year that turned out to be exceptional for many reasons. In Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s second novel, you consult the village witch. Kirabo moves from an isolated village to a bustling Kampala to an elite boarding school as she tries to find answers while navigating her own rich internal life, and the uncertainty of Idi Amin’s dictatorship. Humanitarian advocate and political analyst Nanjala Nyabola crosses into foreign nations with humour and insight. In Travelling While Black, an essay collection inspired by a life on the move, Nyabola reflects on a world that seems to prefer that she had stayed put in Nairobi, but also one that embraces her and teaches us all about belonging as she stands out.