10 must-read books: adventures, monsters and detectives.

Position:Literature: AFRICA WRITES BACK - Recommended readings
 
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Ahead of her appearance at Africa Writes 2016, a major festival of African Literature happening at the British Library in London UK from 1st--3rd July, Zahrah Nessbit-Ahmed, founder of the Bookshy Blog, chronicles some of the exciting happenings within the African literary scene in recent years, and gives a low down on titles to look out for.

The growth in independent publishers across the African continent--Kwani? in Kenya, Modjaji Books in South Africa, Cassava Republic Press in Nigeria to name a few--and a rise in literary magazines, writing workshops, competitions, and prizes; as well as the introduction and adoption of digital content and electronic reading devices, have stimulated great interest in literature across the continent.

In the midst of what could be called a literary renaissance, there has been a plot twist, involving genre fiction (also known as "popular" fiction) slowly moving away from its "low-brow" reputation to take centre-stage in African literature. Crime, romance, science fiction and fantasy by African writers are experiencing increasing popularity; internationally acclaimed writers in ' speculative fiction", such as South Africa's Lauren Beukes and Nigerian-American, Nnedi Okorafor--as well as the growing popularity of African crime writers--provide both entertainment and a way to understand contemporary events. Within this landscape, new publishers and imprints are also beginning to emerge--Cassava Republic Press' digital romance imprint, Ankara Press; Jungle Jim's pulp fiction magazines; and Paressia and Helon Habila's crime and spy fiction imprint Cordite Books, are just a few examples. With this new wave of genre fiction, African writers are shifting the lens through which these genres are traditionally viewed; while the novels enable readers to see the world in new, and different, ways. If you're interested in trying something a little bit different, here's my selection of 10 genre fiction novels by African writers to check out.

FIVE DEBUT GENRE FICTION NOVELS

EASY MOTION TOURIST

by Leye Adenle

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Set in Lagos, Leye Adenle's debut novel, Easy Motion Tourist, is a fast-paced, gritty crime novel. Guy Collins, a British journalist, is in Lagos on the hunt for an election story, but accidentally gets accused of murder--a mutilated female body is found close to a local bar he ends up going to while he waits for the elections. A young working girl, Amaka, manages to convince the police station...

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