The Washington Post recently asked some writers which book they would be reading for the summer, and two of the featured writers were Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Imbolo Mbue.
Adichie, whose latest book of non-fiction, Dear Ijeawele or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, won the 2017 Le Grand Prix De L’héroïne Madame Figaro, chose Isabel Wilkerson’s 2010 historical study The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration. She wrote:
I’m planning to read Isabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth of Other Suns, which I have been saving to read for a while and am very much looking forward to.
The Warmth of Other Suns, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction, is a retelling of the historical migration of African-Americans from the Southern part of the United States to the other parts of the country between 1915 and 1970.
Imbolo Mbue’s response was much longer. The Cameroonian, whose acclaimed debut Behold the Dreamers won the PEN/Faulkner Award and was picked for Oprah’s Book Club, chose up to six books, including Jennifer Makumbi’s ubiquitous first novel Kintu:
Recent or soon-to-be-released books I would love to read this summer include Naoki Higashida’s memoir of living with severe autism, Fall Down 7 Times Get Up 8; Jonathan Dee’s The Locals (it sounds very ambitious and seemingly explores several social issues our country is currently dealing with); Stephanie Powell Watt’s No One is Coming to Save Us; Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s debut novel, Kintu; Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing; and Jim St. Germain’s A Stone of Hope, a memoir which I’ve heard presents an exceptional argument for criminal justice reform.
You certainly have an excuse to make that trip to the bookstore after all. With seven books recommended by two of the biggest names in African literature, it might just be time to update your library. What are you reading now? Tell us in the comments section.
Read The Washington Post‘s full feature HERE.
About the Reporter:
Kanyinsola Olorunnisola is a poet, essayist and fiction writer and founder of SPRINNG literary movement. He writes from Ibadan, Nigeria. His writings border on the themes of unease, racism, colonialism, terror and all things familiar to the black folk. He describes his art as that specialized literary alchemy which aims to extract beauty from the frail commonplaceness of words. His experimental works have appeared on such platforms as TUCK Magazine, Brittle Paper, Kalahari Review, Bombay Review, Lunaris Review, African Writer, Sprinng.org, Authorpedia, ParousiaMagazine and Sampad International Journal. He was the 2016 recipient of the Albert Jungers Poetry Prize.