Translations for books by Nadifa Mohammed, Wole Soyinka, Ayesha Harruna Attah, and Max Lobe, are currently available for your reading pleasure.
Book: Menino Mamba-Negra
Original Title: Black Mamba Boy (2010)
Author: Nadifa Mohamed
Translator: Marina Della Valle
Publishing Date: July 13, 2021
Language: English to Portuguese
Yemen, 1935. Jama is a “market boy,” a half-feral child scavenging with his friends in the dusty streets of a great seaport. For Jama, life is a thrilling carnival, at least when he can fill his belly. When his mother—alternately raging and loving—dies young, she leaves him only an amulet stuffed with one hundred rupees. Jama decides to spend her life’s meager savings on a search for his never-seen father; the rumors that travel along clan lines report that he is a driver for the British somewhere in the north. So begins Jama’s extraordinary journey of more than a thousand miles north all the way to Egypt, by camel, by truck, by train, but mostly on foot. He slings himself from one perilous city to another, fiercely enjoying life on the road and relying on his vast clan network to shelter him and point the way to his father, who always seems just a day or two out of reach.
In his travels, Jama will witness scenes of great humanity and brutality; he will be caught up in the indifferent, grinding machine of war; he will crisscross the Red Sea in search of working papers and a ship. Bursting with life and a rough joyfulness, Black Mamba Boy is debut novelist Nadifa Mohamed’s vibrant, moving celebration of her family’s own history.
Book: Tiefe Wasser Zwischen Uns
Original Title: The Deep Blue Between
Author: Ayesha Harruna Attah
Translator: Christiane Burkhardt
Publisher: Diana Verlag
Publishing Date: November 9, 2021
Language: English to German
Twin sisters Hassana and Husseina’s home is in ruins after a brutal raid. But this is not the end but the beginning of their story, one that will take them to unfamiliar cities and cultures, where they will forge new families, ward off dangers and truly begin to know themselves.
As the twins pursue separate paths in Brazil and the Gold Coast of West Africa, they remain connected through shared dreams of water. But will their fates ever draw them back together?
A sweeping adventure with richly evocative historical settings, The Deep Blue Between is a moving story of the bonds that can endure even the most dramatic change.
Book: A Long Way From Douala (Penguin RandomHouse, Other Press)
Original Title: Loin de Douala (Editions Zoë, 2018)
Author: Max Lobe
Translator: Ros Schwartz
Publisher: Other Press
Publishing Date: October 26, 2021
Language: French to English
Bursting with local color, this hilarious, heartwarming coming-of-age tale follows two friends on a raucous journey across Cameroon as they grapple with grief, sexuality, and dreams of leaving.
After their father’s sudden death, Jean’s older brother Roger decides he’s had enough of their abusive mother and their city. He runs away to try his luck crossing illegally into Europe, in the hope of becoming a soccer star abroad. When no news of him reaches the family, and the police declare that finding some feckless brat isn’t worth their time, Jean feels he has to act. Aiming to catch up with Roger before he gets to the Nigerian border, Jean enlists the help of the older Simon, a close neighborhood friend, and the two set out on the road.
Through a series of joyful, sparky vignettes, Cameroon life is revealed in all its ups and downs. Max Lobe insightfully touches on grave, complex issues, such as the violence Boko Haram has inflicted on the region, yet still recounts events with remarkable humor and levity.
Book: A Morte E O Cavaleiro Real
Original Title: Death and the King’s Horseman
Author: Wole Soyinka
Translator: Sandra Tamele
Publisher: Ethale Books
Publishing Date: April 29, 2020
Language: Portuguese to English
A Nobel Prize-winning playwright’s classic tale of tragic decisions in a traditional African culture.Based on events that took place in Oyo, an ancient Yoruba city of Nigeria, in 1946, Wole Soyinka’s powerful play concerns the intertwined lives of Elesin Oba, the king’s chief horseman; his son, Olunde, now studying medicine in England; and Simon Pilkings, the colonial district officer. The king has died and Elesin, his chief horseman, is expected by law and custom to commit suicide and accompany his ruler to heaven. The stage is set for a dramatic climax when Pilkings learns of the ritual and decides to intervene and Elesin’s son arrives home.