Sunday, August 21, 2011

African Crime Fiction in the news

Cary Darling, writing for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, looks at the changing face of African crime fiction in his article "African crime writers are gaining attention outside the continent."

He starts off
We sure have come a long way since Out of Africa and The Flame Trees of Thika.

In the second decade of the 21st century, some of the most compelling contemporary crime-fiction novels are either set in or coming from Africa. Much as Scandinavia became associated with the genre a few years back -- thanks in large part to Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy -- Africa may become a new capital of literary crime.
Later he points out in reference to Alexander McCall Smith's Botswana books "...this new wave is often far less soft-centered and more hard-boiled, less nice and more noir."

Cary approaches the topic by profiling two authors —South Africa's Roger Smith and Mukoma Wa Ngugi who was born and lives in the US but raised in Kenya. Mukoma Wa Ngugi I wasn't familiar with but after reading about him in Cary's article I have his book Nairobi Heat on pre-order. Taking an African-American detective from an "extremely white town" to Nairobi, Kenya has wonderful possibilities  to explore cultural attitudes, differences.

Roger Smith, as anyone who reads my blog knows, is one of my favorite authors and the one that got my interest in African crime fiction going. Though I've been corresponding with Roger for several years, Cary's interview gave me several new insights. For example, I hadn't known how Roger's books are received in South Africa. Cary also points out how Roger had to turn to electronic publication to make his latest book, Dust Devils, available to US readers, perhaps because publishers are looking for safe and commercial books.

Please read the entire article at African crime writers are gaining attention outside the continent.

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