Ten books by black authors expected in stores this year

Wednesday January 05 2022
‘Glory’ by Noviolet Bulawayo

‘Glory’ by Noviolet Bulawayo. PHOTO | COURTESY


The year 2022 promises to be an exciting one for black and African authors.

British author Bernadine Evaristo broke the glass ceiling in 2019 as the first black woman to win the Booker Prize, with her novel Girl, Woman, Other. Now comes her memoir titled Manifesto: On Never Giving Up, a candid and often humorous account of growing up as a biracial daughter in a family of eight siblings, sexual discoveries in her 20s and unwavering vision and persistence in trying to succeed the tough world of book publishing.

Akwaeke Emezi of Nigerian and Indian heritage has turned her hand to romance writing in her second novel, You Made A Fool of Death With Your Beauty, a story is about a young studio artist who strives to find love again after a devastating loss. Passion, grief, honour and healing are all part of this vivid novel. Emezi’s 2018 debut book and partly biographical account, Freshwater, was nominated for several awards including the Women’s Prize for Fiction.

Another love-story coming out is Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband? by British-Nigerian writer Lizzie Damilola Blackburn. Culture clashes, comedic moments and interfering aunties characterise the husband-searching exploits of a young black woman in Britain.

Viola Davis autobiography

Academy Award-winning actress Viola Davis tells her mesmerising story in the autobiography, Finding Me. Coming from a poor background and a troubled childhood, this is an account of Davis’ courageous journey in acting.


NoViolet Bulawayo of Zimbabwe first entered the book world with her 2013 novel We Need New Names, a coming-of-age story that was a finalist for the Booker Prize. Her upcoming second book, Glory, is a novel based on the demise of long-time President Robert Mugabe in 2017.

The flamboyant women of Egypt in the 1920s and 1930s are remembered in Midnight in Cairo: The Divas of Egypt's Roaring '20s by Raphael Cormack. The New York-based writer is known for his assessment of the Arab world.

This time round he revives the fascinating legends of talented female singers, entertainers and entrepreneurs in the post-colonial period between the two great wars.

We Are All Birds of Uganda by Hafsa Zayyan is a debut novel centred on personalities from the Asian community in 1960s Uganda and present-day Britain. Born in the UK of mixed Pakistani and Nigerian heritage, Zayyan takes on the tumultuous era of President Idi Amin who expelled Asians from Uganda, and reviews issues of identity, belonging, multiculturalism, love and loss.

Until his death in November 2021, Wilbur Smith was one of the best-selling novelists to come out of Africa. Beginning in 1964 with the book, When the Lion Feeds, the Zambian-South African-British novelist enthralled the world with 49 gripping historical fiction books, replete with adventure, drama and romance.

Now comes his 50th novel, to be posthumously released in April 2022 by Zaffre Books, UK. Storm Tide is described as a novel of ‘page-turning action’.

The Furrows: An Elegy by Zambian-born Namwali Serpell is a story of loss, mourning, imprisonment and emotional survival as told by the sister of a deceased young boy.

Nigerian American author Chinelo Okparanta will release her third novel in 2022, titled Harry Sylvester Bird tackling prejudices and the tensions of modern-day America.

Chinelo's 2015 debut novel Under the Udala Trees, set during Nigeria’s post-independence civil war has won several awards.