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Culture

The Best Novels about Africa 

Ranker Books
Updated January 14, 2018 300 votes 143 voters 3.8k views

A list of fiction set in African countries, as ranked by readers who know the difference between Ghana and Djibouti. These novels are written by authors from all over the globe, yet they all take place in Africa and provide insight on specific parts of the continent.

To many Americans, Africa is more of an abstract concept than a real place. Rather than book a flight or pick up a textbook, reading fiction about foreign settings can be an effective way to gain knowledge about unfamiliar places. A writer's perspective gives readers a unique look into a foreign land. Reading fiction about African experiences can actually be an excellent way to dive into another part of the world.

The novels that bring this diverse and massive continent to life all use detail and character to immerse readers in new settings, providing a tangible sense of place that goes deeper than any picture of the savannah or the jungle ever could.

So vote up the best novels about Africa, the ones that create a real sense of connection to African locales! And if there's a great novel set in Africa that's not on the list, don't hesitate to add it!
list ordered by
1
Things Fall Apart is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Novels about Africa
Chinua Achebe
2
Heart of Darkness is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Novels about Africa
Joseph Conrad
3
Half of a Yellow Sun is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Novels about Africa
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
4
Cry, The Beloved Country... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Novels about Africa
5
The Poisonwood Bible is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Novels about Africa
Barbara Kingsolver
6
So Long a Letter is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Novels about Africa
Mariama Bâ, Mariama Bâ
7
Tarzan of the Apes is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Novels about Africa
Edgar Rice Burroughs
8
The Beautyful Ones Are N... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Novels about Africa
9
Nervous Conditions is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Novels about Africa
Tsitsi Dangarembga
10
A Bend in the River is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Novels about Africa
V.S. Naipaul
11
In a Free State is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Novels about Africa
V.S. Naipaul
12
The Grass Is Singing is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Novels about Africa
Doris Lessing
13
Chaka is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Novels about Africa
Thomas Mofolo
14
The Bride Price is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Novels about Africa
Buchi Emecheta
15
The Covenant is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Novels about Africa
James A. Michener, Michael Falconer Anderson
16
Mark of the lion is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Novels about Africa
Suzanne Middendorf Arruda
17
What Is the What is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Novels about Africa
Dave Eggers
18
The Beasts of Tarzan is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Novels about Africa
Edgar Rice Burroughs
19
Arrow of God is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Novels about Africa
MWM added Chinua Achebe
20
Pagan Babies is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Novels about Africa
Elmore Leonard
21
Paradise is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Novels about Africa
MWM added Abdulrazak Gurnah

Abdulrazak Gurnah

22
This Blinding Absence of... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Novels about Africa
MWM added Tahar Ben Jelloun
23
Mating is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Novels about Africa
MWM added Norman Rush
24
A Guide to Recognizing Y... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Novels about Africa
25
Beasts of No Nation is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Novels about Africa
MWM added Uzodinma Iweala