[AFRICAN LITERARY HOROSCOPE is a series featuring satirical astrological interpretations. The idea is to adapt African fiction and poetic works to the needs of readers born under each sign of the Zodiac.

We are kicking off the series with Cancer, the sign that falls within June 21 and July 22. If you were born under the sign of Cancer, read on to find out how African literature can help you make the best of the characteristics associated with your sign.]


Dear Cancer,

You aren’t called “homemakers of the Zodiac” for nothing. When Maya Angelou wrote the phrase, “the ache for home lives in all of us,” she may as well have had you in mind. Home is more than just a place. It is a sanctuary, and you put in the time and effort to build and protect it.

But Neptune and Pisces will unite in your 9th house of adventure to set your desire for travel afire. Don’t fight the desire. Besides, you may have good reasons to leave—like the character in Marechera’s The House of Hunger who coined one of the most beautiful opening sentences in African fiction: “I got my things and left.” Good reason or no, take that step out the door because no matter where you go, home, in some shape or form, will always be there when you return.

Family and friends have become used to enjoying your nurturing and caring sides. But instead of appreciation, all you get is drama. Blame it all on Pluto! As it moves through your 7th house of intensity, it could sow seeds of war in your heart and bring about situations that make you question your relationships.

Feel free to reach for your copy of Helen Oyeyemi’s Boy, Snow, Bird. The story is built around a woman named Boy, who is saddled with a stepdaughter she can’t stand and blessed with a daughter she would do anything to protect. Boy should be your muse. She will show you how to handle difficult relationships like a pro. She is the authority on how to put people who think they own you in their proper place.

You might find that your love for the homestead has sort of tipped into an obsession. You’ve been spending all your free time at home, not wanting to socialize. Ignore all attempts by close friends and family to make you feel guilty about not spending time with them.

Embrace this desire for solitude. This has everything to do with the fact that your star totem is the crab. As you retreat into your crustacean solitude, take along a long, juicy novel: The Famished RoadWizard of the Crow, or even Americanah.

The moon is your ruling planet so expect your mood to act up. Whatever you do, keep Soyinka’s A Shuttle in the Crypt close!

You’ll need it when you find yourself in situations that could trigger extreme emotions. The zen-like string of stanzas called “prisonnettes” will help you clear out your headspace and avoid sudden shifts in emotion. Soyinka penned a good bit of these lines during the Biafra War while in prison. Imagine being in prison and knowing that you could be executed the next minute. Life, for Soyinka, was a traumatic roller-coaster ride between hope and despair.

If Soyinka could find solace in writing these beautiful lines, be rest assured that you can find calm and equilibrium in reading them.



I based the star chart on information from Astrology Club

Tags: , , , , ,

I'm finishing up a phd at Duke University where I study African novels, which I believe are some of the loveliest things ever written. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

One Response to “African Literary Horoscope | Cancer — the Homemakers of the Zodiac” Subscribe

  1. Chanelle 2015/07/17 at 7:25 am #


Leave a Reply

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


What to Listen to After Reading Imbolo Mbue’s Behold the Dreamers


Imbolo Imbue’s Behold the Dreamers is one of the most talked about African novels. The novel tells the story of Jende […]

13 ways Nigeria’s Literati Greeted Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize Win | by Olaoluwa Oni


By Swedish consensus, Bob Dylan has “created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition,” and a literature prize […]

A Little Judgement | by Michael E. Umoh | An African Story


HOW DO YOU SAVE A LIFE? You go out and buy puff-puff. It began like this: I was walking towards […]

Uniben Boy in Berlin | By Oris Aigbokhaevbolo


  I Beset by love, lust, and other forms of collegial companionship at the University of Benin, my friends and […]

A Book About Soups, Sex and Nigerian Taste Buds


Congrats to Yemisi Aribisala! Her essay collection on Nigerian food and culinary culture is set for an October 31 release. […]

Chimamanda Adichie Had a Christian Dior Moment


Head of Dior Maria Grazia Chiuri made a bold statement at her catwalk show in the beautiful gardens of the […]