Obama Shares Summer Reading List Featuring African Authors Ahead of His Trip to the Continent

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President Barack Obama’s 2018 summer reading list includes a number of African literary classics.

Former U.S. president Barack Obama will embark on his first trip to the continent since he left office this week, where he’ll visit his ancestral home of Kenya, before heading to South Africa to convene with the Obama Foundation Leaders and deliver the keynote address to mark Nelson Mandela’s 100th Birthday.

As if we needed another reason to sorely miss the former leader, Obama has shared his latest summer reading list, ahead of his trip to the continent, with titles from some of Africa’s literary greats.

“Over the years since, I’ve often drawn inspiration from Africa’s extraordinary literary tradition,” said the former head of state on his Facebook page. “As I prepare for this trip, I wanted to share a list of books that I’d recommend for summer reading, including some from a number of Africa’s best writers and thinkers—each of whom illuminate our world in powerful and unique ways.”

The list includes foundational texts like Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart,” which he called “a true classic of world literature,” Neslon Mandela’s “A Long Walk to Freedom, and A Grain of Wheatby Ngugi wa Thiong’o as well as more contemporary classics such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah and The Return by Hisham Matar, which he described as “a beautifully-written memoir that skillfully balances a graceful guide through Libya’s recent history with the author’s dogged quest to find his father who disappeared in Gaddafi’s prisons.” via Barack Obama’s Facebook page. Happy reading!

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