Also of interest
In West Africa rising
by Akwaeke Emezi (Grove, $24)
“In its barest outline, this is simply the coming-of-age tale of a brilliant but troubled young woman,” said Sam Sacks in The Wall Street Journal. But because Akwaeke Emezi’s “witchy, electrifying” novel uses both conventional psychology and the folklore of Nigeria’s Igbo people to interpret its heroine’s actions, it reinvigorates a familiar story. We see Ada’s erratic behavior through the eyes of malevolent gods, and events that might appear merely sordid instead possess “a hideous grandeur.”
by Anna Badkhen (Riverhead, $27)
Hope springs eternal in the Senegalese fishing community portrayed in this “memorably beautiful” tribute to a vanishing way of life, said Steve Donoghue in CSMonitor.com. Though commercial operations are emptying the sea of fish, the locals forever believe in the next big catch, and reporter Anna Badkhen sails with them to capture the rhythms of the work and its passed-down wisdom. As their traditions disappear, “readers will have the small comfort of visiting their world in the pages of this book.”
Children of Blood and Bone
by Tomi Adeyemi (Holt, $19)
Tomi Adeyemi, who’s only 24, “already writes like an author who is 10 books deep in her career,” said Caitlyn Paxson in NPR.org. In a novel that’s poised to be the next big thing in young-adult fiction, two young heroines in a fictional West African nation embark on a journey to end the oppression of a people who once wielded the powers of the gods. A “fast-paced, excellently crafted” adventure ensues, and the brilliant climax will leave readers gasping—and placing pre-orders for the sequel.
The Away Game
by Sebastian Abbot (Norton, $27)
For many teenagers in Africa, there is no greater dream than to be the next global soccer star, said The Economist. Sebastian Abbot’s engrossing book follows three hopefuls who were recruited to participate in a Qatari-funded program that held tryouts for half a million youngsters a year. Abbot neglects to show that the program’s chosen few weren’t the only African players exploited, yet “that is a minor shortcoming” in an otherwise “masterful” account of the drama and science of scouting.