Book Digest

Book Digest: Tuelo Gabonewe, Shani Akilah, Sulaiman Addonia, Chioma Okereke

We wrap up book news for our readers in our regular Book Digest segment with books from Tuelo Gabonewe, Shani Akilah, Sulaiman Addonia, and Chioma Okereke.

For Such a Time as This by Shani Akilah

Publisher:  Magpie
Date:  June 20, 2024
Genre:  Fiction, short story collection
Language:  English
Where to find it: One World, Waterstones, Amazon

Shani Akilah

Shani Akilah. Photo/Jonathan Osibo
Shani Akilah. Photo/Jonathan Osibo

Shani Akilah is a Black British Caribbean writer and screenwriter from South London. She is a book influencer, co-founded the Nyah Network, a book club for Black women, and was a literary judge for the Nota Bene Prize 2023. Shani has a Masters degree in African Studies from Oxford University. For Such a Time as This is her debut short story collection.

For Such a Time as This

For Such a Time as This by Shani Akilah
For Such a Time as This by Shani Akilah

These are the people who sustain us through good times and bad. Meet Niah and her friends. They’re young, they’re smart, they’re part of a tight friendship group determined to make the most of every day. And their lives are about to change forever. From the tingling excitement of a new relationship to the challenges of online dating, from the shadow of racism in the workplace to the isolation of Covid-19, the stories in For Such a Time as This burst with romance and friendship. This stunning new collection is a powerful snapshot of the relationships – and moments – that make us who we are.

Dirurubele by Tuelo Gabonewe

Publisher:  Xarra Books
Date:  June 6, 2024
Genre:  Fiction
Language:  Setswana
Where to find it:  Xarra Books

Tuelo Gabonewe

Tuelo Gabonewe
Tuelo Gabonewe

Tuelo Gabonewe is a novelist who writes in two languages, Setswana and English. He announced himself on the writing scene when he released Planet Savage, his novel that was published by Jacana Media in 2011. Planet Savage was followed by another novel titled Sarcophagus, published by Gecko Publishers. He also wrote a storybook for little children titled Hippo and his Friends. Dinotshi is his third novel. Tuelo completed his studies in Psychology and Public Management & Administration at the North West University in 2005, and later obtained his masters in Creative Writing from Wits University in 2016. When he’s not busy writing books, he works full-time as a bank employee.

Dirurubele

Dirurubele by Tuelo Gabonewe
Dirurubele by Tuelo Gabonewe

Dirurubele ke tsweledi ya Dinotshi, padi ya ntlhantlha ya erotika e e kwadilweng ka loleme Iwa Setswana e e golotsweng ka ngwaga wa 2020 e phasaladiwa ke Xarra Books. Dingwaga di le nne morago ga go phasaladiwa ga buka e ntsho e e etileng eno pele, Dirurubele e nna padi ya bobedi ya mofuta wa yone go tlhagelela mo bokwading jwa Setswana.

Gabonewe o re isa kwa ope a iseng a tsamaye a nne le bopelokgale jwa go re isa teng, a dirisa puo e ntle e e kgatlhang e bile e gogela. Moanelwamogolo wa rona, Modiri, o godile jaanong. Ke ralapa e bile ke mogatsa motho, ga e tlhole e le mokawananyana wa magae yo o magorogo maša mo mošateng wa Gauteng yo re kopaneng nae ‘kgetlo Iwa ntlha dingwaga di le nne tse di fetileng. Jaanong potso ke gore a tlhaloganyo ya moeka le yone e godile jaaka mong a godile? Sala Dirurubele morago mme o tlaa bona karabo.

The Seers by Sulaiman Addonia

Publisher:  Prototype Publishers
Date:  June 26, 2024
Genre:  Fiction
Language:  English
Where to find it:  Prototype Publishing

Sulaiman Addonia

Sulaiman Addonia
Sulaiman Addonia

Sulaiman Addonia is an Eritrean-Ethiopian-British novelist. He spent his early life in a refugee camp in Sudan, and his early teens in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He arrived in London as an underage unaccompanied refugee without a word of English and went on to earn an MA in Development Studies from SOAS and a BSc in Economics from UCL. His first novel, The Consequences of Love (Chatto & Windus, 2008), was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and was translated into more than 20 languages. His second novel, Silence is My Mother Tongue (Indigo Press, 2019; Graywolf, 2020), was a Finalist for the Lambda Literary Awards 2021, the Firecracker (CLMP) Awards, the inaugural African Literary Award from The Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco, and longlisted for the 2019 Orwell Prize for Fiction. Addonia’s essays appear in LitHub, Granta, Freeman’s, The New York Times, De Standaard and Passa Porta. He is a contributor to Tales of Two Planets (Penguin, 2020) and Addis Ababa Noir (Akashic Books, 2020). Addonia currently lives in Brussels where he founded the Creative Writing Academy for Refugees & Asylum Seekers and the Asmara-Addis Literary Festival In Exile (AALFIE), selected in 2022 as one of the top 40 literary festivals in the world. In 2021 he was awarded Belgium’s Golden Afro Artistic Award for Literature and in 2022 he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature (RSL).

The Seers

The Seers by Sulaiman Addonia
The Seers by Sulaiman Addonia

The Seers follows the first weeks of a homeless Eritrean refugee in London. Set around a foster home in Kilburn and in the squares of Bloomsbury, where its protagonist Hannah sleeps, the novel grapples with how agency is given to the sexual lives of refugees, insisting that the erotic and intimate side of life is as much a part of someone’s story as ‘land and nations’ are.

Hannah arrives in London with her mother’s diary, containing a disturbing sexual story taking place in Keren, Eritrea, where the Allies defeated the Italians in the Second World War. In a gripping, continuous paragraph, The Seers moves between the present day and the past to explore intergenerational histories and colonial trauma alongside the psychological and erotic lives of its characters as their identities are shaped, but refused to be suppressed, by the bureaucratic processes of the UK asylum system.

Water Baby by Chioma Okereke

Publisher:  Quercus, Masobe Books
Date:  April 11, June 24
Genre:  Fiction
Language:  English
Where to find it: Quercus,  Amazon,

Chioma Okereke

Chioma Okereke
Chioma Okereke

Chioma Okereke is a Nigeria-born poet, author, and short story writer. Her work has appeared in various publications including The Callaloo Literary Journal and the Virago is 40 anthology. Her debut novel, Bitter Leaf, was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize – Africa Best First Book and her short story Trompette De La Mort received First Runner Up of the inaugural Costa Short Story Award. She divides her time between the bustle of London, the hustle of Lagos, and the rustle of rural France.

Water Baby

Water Baby by Chioma Okereke
Water Baby by Chioma Okereke

She’s the Pearl of Makoko and the world is her oyster. In Makoko, the floating slum off mainland Lagos, Nigeria, nineteen-year-old Baby yearns for an existence where she can escape the future her father has planned for her. With opportunities scarce, Baby jumps at the chance to join a newly launched drone-mapping project, aimed at broadening the visibility of her community. Then a video of her at work goes viral and Baby finds herself with options she could never have imagined – including the possibility of leaving her birthplace to represent Makoko on the world stage. But will life beyond the lagoon be everything she’s dreamed of? Or has everything she wants been in front of her all along?

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