My African Non-Fiction Reading List


As with my African fiction reading list, here is a working list of non-fiction books that I'd like to read. Unlike with the fiction list, the criteria for what makes a book 'African' in this instance is a little bit different (and potentially less contentious – you tell me). This time classification has to do with the subject matter of the book rather than with the heritage of the author.  

I'll be adding to the list over time and making a note of my impressions as I read through it. I love suggestions so, please do share.

In no particular order:

  1. Africa: The Politics of Suffering and Smiling – Patrick Chabal
  2. Bury the Chains: The British Struggle to Abolish Slavery – Adam Hochschild
  3. Dead Aid: Why Aid is not Working and how there is a Better Way for Africa – Dambisa Moyo
  4. In My Father's House: Africa in the Philosophy of Culture – Kwame Anthony Appiah
  5.  It's Our Turn to Eat – Michela Wrong
  6. I Write What I Like – Steve Biko
  7. The Female King of Colonial Nigeria: Ahebi Ugbabe – Nwando Achebe
  8. African Sexualities: A Reader – Sylvia Tamale
  9. China Returns to Africa: A Rising Power and a Continent Embrace – Chris Alden et al



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2 thoughts on “My African Non-Fiction Reading List”

  1. I am currently reading Malidoma Some’s “Of Water and the Spirit” and I highly recommend this one if you’re interested in religious colonialism and African spiritualities.
    I also recommended Nwando Achebe’s “The Female Colonial King of Nigeria: Ahebi Ugbabe”. “African Sexualities: A Reader” edited by Sylvia Tamale. “China Returns to Africa” edited by Alden et al. These are all the recommendations that I can think of at the moment.

  2. Thanks cosmicyoruba! I’ve actually read “Of Water and the Spirit” and I loved it and highly recommend it to others too.
    I’m adding your other suggestions to the list – they are fascinating/intriguing/timely.

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