oo often, when we speak about ‘African Literature’, the topic of love, in whatever form, seldom gets mentioned. Too often – especially in the West – the dominant discourse when it comes to Africa, Africans, and by implication, African Literature, is dominated by topics like migration, poverty, war, you name it. But love is an integral part of human life, and in this post, we celebrate some of the literary works that portray love in an African context.
The blurb of the anthology called ‘African Love Stories’, edited by the incomparable Ama Ata Aidoo, starts with the question ‘African love stories? Is that not some kind of anomaly?’, and this was part of the reason why it is included in this list but also why we bought the book on the spot, because it provoked us to ask: why don’t we talk about African love stories, relationships, and romance more often? This question has led us to put together the following list. As you will see, we have tried to put together a varied list, one that includes books that look at different types of love: romantic, motherly, sisterly, forbidden, and even illegal.
We hope that in this list, you will discover books that you may not have read or even heard of, but also that you may rediscover some books that you may already have read in the past, and look at them from a different perspective, especially since many of them are not just about love, but other issues and themes as well.
As always, do let us know which books you would have loved to see included in this list, and if you’ve read any of the recommendations we’ve listed, let us know what your thoughts were/are.