These 10 Amazing Novels That Tell The Real African Story

There are many African stories but usually, these stories depict Africa as the dark continent with nothing better but this is due to who is telling the story.

However, there are African writers who are telling the real African story in a way that you can relate in their books and these are some of the novels we wish to unveil.

1. Children Of Gebelawi – Naguib Mahfouz

This novel tells the story of Gebelawi Children, set in Egypt, Cairo, it tells the story of the religious history of the Jews, the Muslims, and the Christians. This won the writer a Nobel prize but got him attacked and stabbed by extremists.


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2. Season Of Migration To The North – Tayib Salih

Written in 1966 and beautifully rendered in lush poetic language, it tells the story of  a man returning to his Sudanese village from England in a bleak meditation on cross-cultural misunderstandings, as well as the confusions and contradictions within the human heart. It’s a post-colonial Sudanese novel.


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3. A Bend In The River – VS Naipaul

Published in 1979, the story reveals the life of a young boy who left the east coast of Africa to set up a shop in a little town on the bend of a river in an unnamed country deep in the interior, but he is plagued by disappointment and failure as the country falls to ruin. It is hardly a cheery book, but compelling and resonant.


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4. My Traitor’s Heart – Rian Malan

Subtitled South African Exile Returns to Face His Country, His Tribe and His Conscience. Rian Malan reveals the darker side of apartheid and its effect on his family. It talks about how he left his divided South Africa only to return to confront his “tribe” of white Africans and just as much, himself. There is something unsettling about his findings, but this is never less than totally absorbing.


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5. The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver

Set in the 1960s, The Poisonwood Bible concerns a family of missionaries from the American South who are moving to the Congo. It is both a family drama and a study of the impact of one culture on another.


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6. The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency – Alexander McCall Smith

Not even the author would claim this was a “great” book, but it earns its place by being overly cheerful and for bringing a rare “good news” story out of Africa that is too often characterised as a grim, barbaric, hopeless and miserable place.

7. Disgrace – J.M. Coetzee

The story talks about a disgraced university lecturer, David Lurie, who is forced out of his post after an affair and is beginning to come to terms with his powerlessness. Bleak and powerful, with just a hint of the possibility of redemption, which is basically what happens in Africa.


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8. Half Of A Yellow Sun – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The story describes the impact of a civil war on ordinary people and in its moral seriousness. It acts almost as support to Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart.


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9. Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe

This is a story that describes one man’s endeavour to fight for the Igbo tribe but at the end failed because he was left standing alone.


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10. In The Country Of Men – Hisham Matar

A beautiful description of growing up in Gaddafi’s Libya finds nine-year-old Sulaiman trying to make sense of a life where his father is a dissident and his mother on drugs. Meanwhile, the police are closing in.


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Africa is a beautiful place but you won’t know that if you picture us through the eyes of the mass media.


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