Former US President Barack Obama is in Africa for the first time since he left office; he draws great inspiration from Africa’s literary traditions and shared with me his recommended summer reading list (technically he didn’t share with me but the Obama Foundation passed it along to me as an interested party in the Obama Foundation Leaders: Africa program.)
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
A true classic of world literature, this novel paints a picture of traditional society wrestling with the arrival of foreign influence, from Christian missionaries to British colonialism. A masterpiece that has inspired generations of writers in Nigeria, across Africa, and around the world.
A Grain of Wheat by Ngugi wa Thiong’o
A chronicle of the events leading up to Kenya’s independence, and a compelling story of how the transformative events of history weigh on individual lives and relationships.
Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson…