Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 3,000 African literature enthusiasts!
Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our "Guide to African Novels."

2468145067_1bb7ca50de_z

This past weekend was spent getting my hair done. Right now, I have on some jumbo Senegalese twists.

I’m loving my hair and feeling very ready for Valentine’s Day.

Speaking of Val Day, I’ve been thinking about love tokens inspired by African literature 🙂

What came to mind was a bouquet of flowers consisting of flowers featured in African novels.

Purple Hibiscus is one of the most popular African novels associated with a flower, so you could start there.

You could then add on some red amaryllis, calla lilly, forget me nots, and yellow everlastings—all taken from Helen Oyeyemi’s Boy, Snow, Bird.

For an additional burst of color, Okri’s The Famished Road has an impressive catalog of flowers that includes sunflower, passion flower, canna-lily, heliotrope, geranium, and rose.

If you’re going for a vivid palette, nothing wrong with throwing in some Frangipani as a homage to Mia Cuto’s Under the Frangipani.

I can’t remember Achebe specifying the color of allamanda mentioned in his short story, “Dead Man’s Path,” but I’d say your best bet would be a red instead of a yellow.

The flame tree is so prominent in Marie Ndiaye’s celebrated novella, Three Strong Women, that it could very easily count as a character, so go ahead and accent with some blooming flame tree flower.

I have been reading a whole bunch of Ifa divinatory verses and came across a folktale where a morning glory is mentioned. So consider adding some morning glory. I have a feeling the gods would be pleased.

You’re probably fine at this point, but no harm finishing things off with one more Adichie—some Jacaranda from her sad but sweet short story titled,”Ghost Story.”

Here is what your bouquet palette might look like:

african-flowers-novels

Photo Credit: From Right to Left, Row by Row. 

 1. Rose by Allie_Caulfield via Flickr

2. Geraniums by Choo Yut Shing via Flickr

3. Allamanda by Thangaraj Kumaravel via Flickr

4. Jacaranda by certified su via Flickr

5. Yellow Everlasting by Alpha via Flickr

6. Forget Me Not by dawnzy58 via Flickr

7. Amaryllis by Bill Gracey via Flickr

8. Calla Lily by Ming-yen Hsu via Flickr

9. Heliotrope by NatureShutterbug via Flickr

10. Canna Lily by Jeff-o-matic via Flickr

11. Purple Hibiscus by Justin Frisch via Flickr

12. Frangipani by Rae Allen via Flickr

13. Passion Flower by Divine Harvester via Flickr

14. Sun Flower by Patrick Emerson via Fickr

15. Flame Tree by Wendy Cutler via Flickr

16. Morning Glory by Steve Brand via Flickr

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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.

No comments yet.

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.

Monthly Newsletter!

Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our
"Guide to African Novels."

Archives

Mid-Life Crisis of a Major God II | Stanley Princewill McDaniels | Poetry

3259071082_152e3078b0_o

– As for life turning out to be all what no one ever wanted it to, how we surely confuse […]

Sudanese Fiction: 5 Books Recommended by Leila Aboulela

season of migration to the north

Leila Aboulela has recommended five books for readers seeking familiarity with Sudanese fiction. Aboulela’s own work is often used as an […]

Elnathan John Among Judges for 2019 Man Booker International Prize

elnathan john

Nigerian novelist Elnathan John is among the judges for the 2019 Man Booker International Prize. The panel includes writer, translator and president […]

My Greatest Inspiration in Filmmaking: Kunle Afolayan | Onyeka Nwelue

onyeka nwelue - bella naija

As the Africa Film Trinidad & Tobago opens tomorrow, my first fictional Igbo Language feature film, Agwaetiti Obiuto, will screen on 24 July […]

Paging The God of Small Things Fans | Arundhati Roy is Coming to Cape Town and Johannesburg

Author Arundhati Roy photographed by Chiara Goia

Arundhati Roy, famous Indian activist and bestselling author of the Booker Prize winning The God of Small Things and the […]

Opportunity for East African Writers | Fellowship for Early Career Writers and Publishers

african writers trust publishing fellowship

In the wake of Nigeria’s Dusty Manuscript Contest, it is encouraging to see Africa Writers Trust rolling out a fellowship […]

Thanks for signing up!

Never miss out on new posts. Subscribe to a digest, too:

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.