Original Article


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Another fable makes the list on the African continent: The Upright Revolution: Or Why Humans Walk Upright by Kenyan author Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o has been published in more than 60 languages. These short tales that give insight into the human condition seem to have universal appeal, making them attractive as translation options.

Angola: The Book of Chameleons by José Eduardo Agualusa

Botswana: Maru by Bessie Head

Burundi: Petit Pays by Gaël Faye

Cameroon: Houseboy by Ferdinand Oyono

Cape Verde: The Last Will and Testament of Senhor da Silva by Araújo Germano Almeida

Congo: Broken Glass by Alain Mabanckou

Côte d’Ivoire: Allah is not Obliged by Ahmadou Kourouma

Democratic Republic of the Congo: Tram 83 by Mwanza Mujila

Djibouti: Passage of Tears by Abdourahman A Waberi

Egypt: Women at Point Zero by Nawal El Saadawi

Ethiopia: The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears by Dinaw Mengestu

Ghana: The Beautyful Ones are Not Yet Born by Ayi Kwei Armah

Guinea: The African Child by Camara Laye

Guinea-Bissau: The Ultimate Tragedy by Abdulai Sila

Kenya: The Upright Revolution: Or Why Humans Walk Upright by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o

Lesotho: Chaka by Thomas Mofolo

Liberia: The House at Sugar Beach by Helene Cooper

Libya: In The Country of Men by Hisham Matar

Madagascar: The Palace by Claude Simon

Malawi: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba

Mali: Kaïdara: récit initiatique peul by Amadou Hampaté Bâ

Mauritania: Guantánamo Diary by Mohamedou Ould Slahi

Mauritius: The Last Brother by Nathacha Appanah

Morocco: Racism Explained to My Daughter by Tahar Ben Jelloun

Mozambique: Sleepwalking Land by Mia Couto

Nigeria: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Rwanda: Left to Tell: One Woman’s Story of Surviving the Rwandan Genocide by Immaculée Ilibagiza

Senegal: God’s Bits of Wood by Ousmane Sembène

Sierra Leone: Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah

Somalia: Desert Flower by Waris Dirie

South Africa: The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

Sudan: Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih

Tanzania: Paradise by Abdulrazak Gurnah

Uganda: Chroniques Abyssiniennes by Moses Isegawa

Zambia: River God by Wilbur Smith

Zimbabwe: We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo