In December 2007 I posted the Africa Reading Challenge and have greatly enjoyed the response: 25 readers have posted reading lists and 14 reviews have been posted on books dealing with countries as diverse as Senegal, Sudan, Sierra Leone, and South Africa. (The challenge goes throughout the year, so newcomers are welcome!)
Kathleen Sheldon, a researcher focusing on African women’s history, adds some nice suggestions I hadn’t encountered (for the most part), focusing on African authors:
My suggestions: Ousmane Sembene, God’s Bits of Wood (fantastic novel about a railway strike in Senegal); Ellen Kuzwayo, Call Me Woman (South African autobiography); Buchi Emecheta, The Joys of Motherhood (Nigerian novel, she has written several other novels as well) ; and Doreen Baingana, Tropical Fish:Tales from Entebbe (Ugandan stories). For some further ideas about novels, have a look at the book African Novels in the Classroom, edited by Margaret Jean Hay, which includes essays on 24 novels by African writers. Also, see the Feminist Press publications on Women Writing Africa – they now have three regional volumes (southern, east, and west Africa) – these are extensive compilations are probably too much to read for this challenge, but will introduce you to many wonderful women authors.
Also, if you want to read more analytical non-fiction on Africa, Chris Blattman has two lists (one and two). [I try not to link to Chris’s site more than once a day, but it’s tough.]