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Simon Allison Reviews Americanah by Chimamanda Adichie

AmericanahVerdict: carrot

Africa has but a handful of world-famous writers. This is not, I believe, an indictment of the continent’s literary talent, but simply a reflection of the globalisation of Western culture and Africa’s generally poor literacy rates (it is self-evident that it’s more difficult for people who can’t read to write books and in Africa there are still far too many people who can’t read).

Nonetheless, Africa has produced some giants of the literary world. In South Africa, there are Nobel laureates Nadine Gordimer and JM Coetzee (although Coetzee has abandoned his native land for Australia). Up north, in Egypt, think Naguib Mahfouz, and in Kenya, Ngugi wa Thiong’o.

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