Blanchardstown Library African Literature Collection

by Fingal Libraries
by Fingal Libraries on December 4, 2015 in Libraries

In Blanchardstown Library we have a dedicated collection of African Literature. This includes fiction and non-fiction by African writers and also books about Africa. Art, poetry, memoirs, biographies, travel writing and fiction are all included.  Classic modern novels are here, like Ben Okri’s The Famished Road (1991) and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun […]

In Blanchardstown Library we have a dedicated collection of African Literature. This includes fiction and non-fiction by African writers and also books about Africa. Art, poetry, memoirs, biographies, travel writing and fiction are all included. Classic modern novels are here, like Ben Okri’s The Famished Road (1991) and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun (2006). The collection also includes key modernist novels like Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, set in the modern Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Paul Bowles’ enigmatic The Sheltering Sky (1949), set around the Sahara Desert, and encompassing Morocco and Algeria. The collection features the works of several winners of the Nobel Prize in Literature: Wole Soyinka, Nadine Gordimer, Naguib Mahfouz, J M Coetzee, and Doris Lessing.

We have several recent anthologies of the Caine Prize for African writing – the Caine Prize is an annual award for the best short story by an African writer, whether in Africa or elsewhere. Gods and Soldiers is a Penguin anthology of contemporary African writing. The renowned Nigerian writer, Chinua Achebe is represented in novels, plays, poems and essays. Other playwrights featured are Yael Farber, Athol Fugard, Ola Rotimi, and Soyinka. The Trickster’s Tongue (2006) is an anthology of poetry in translation from Africa and the African diaspora.

Books on folklore, wildlife, sport, fashion, and cuisine are part of the collection. There are travel books on Africa, both historical and contemporary, including Dervla Murphy’s Cameroon with Egbert (1989). The collection features many books based on politics and history, covering countries from Angola to Kenya to Sierra Leone. The book An Ordinary Man (2006) by Paul Rusebagina, tells the true story behind the acclaimed film Hotel Rwanda. There are books on the recent history of Zimbabwe, as well as personal memoirs like Lauren S. John’s Rainbow’s End.

The collection holds many books about South Africa in recent decades. Amongst them are Nelson Mandela’s 1965 work, No Easy Walk to Freedom, and the writings of the martyred activist, Steve Biko, I Write what I Like, posthumously collected and published in 1978. Art + Revolution by Diana Wylie is a beautifully illustrated biography about Thami Mnyele, a brilliant artist who joined the ANC and was killed in exile in Botswana in 1985.

There have been several donations gratefully received to the collection by groups in Fingal.

You can reserve titles from the African Collection on the Online Catalogue.

By Fergus O’Reilly, Blanchardstown Library