My favourite five


Famished Road by Ben Okri
Famished Road, in my opinion, is one of the best novels to have come out of the Africa. The 1991 Booker winner is the story of Azaro, an abiku who is constantly coming and going between our world and the spirit-world thus returning to the world of the unborn months or years after birth. Azaro struggles against the collective wish of his spirit companions and stay on in the physical form, drawn by the wonders of the earth. He still maintains his connections with the spirit world and oscillates dangerously between the two worlds. His companions try to bring him back to their world. The language in this novel is incredibly rich, the imagery superb and the characters so memorable. I love the fact that the story brings to life the Yoruba mythical tradition in a distinctive brand of magical realism and captures the chaos, poverty and violence of post-colonial Nigeria

Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee
Another Booker Prize winning novel, Disgrace tells a story of Professor’s affair with a student and its repercussions. I was drawn by Coetzee’s skillful, highly economical writing style and fluid plot. A melancholic book, Disgrace is full of the moral complexities such as it is found in the real world.

The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
This page-turner is about a young boy’s clandestine love affair with an older woman, and what happens to them both when the secrets in her past are revealed. The book is easy to read and deeply moving and I love its connection with the Holocaust.

1984 by George Orwell
George Orwell’s classic 1984 is a very descriptive novel. It conveys horrifying but important truths in a calm voice. It’s about the dangers of creating a utopian society. I totally love this book!

The Beautyful Ones are Not Yet Born by Ayi Kwei Armah
I remember laughing all through! I was amused by the corruption, the poverty, the resilience of the human spirit. It’s the story of a nameless man who struggles to remain clean when everyone else around him has succumbed to ‘rot’. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

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