I've recently featured Roger Smith, Meshack Masondo, Richard Kunzmann, Deon Meyer and Michael Stanley from South Africa. Mike Nicol, a novelist and keeper of the Crime Beat South Africa blog, has contributed to Detectives Beyond Borders as well. Crime Beat will also serve as a guide to far more African crime writers than I can mention here.
But there's more. From Algeria (actually from France, where he went into voluntary exile) Yasmina Khadra writes bleak, occasionally grimly humorous detective novels set amid the strife and carnage of 1990s Algiers. The Congolese author Alain Mabanckou wrote the satirical, creepy inside-the-killer's head African Psycho.
Daliso Chaponda, born in Malawi and subsequently a resident of Canada and the United Kingdom, offers a broadly satirical vision of dictatorship in his short story "Heroic Proportions."
Africa also gave the world one of the most distinguished authors ever to turn his hand to crime writing: the Egyptian Nobel Prize winner Naguib Mahfouz. His novel The Thief and the Dog is a bleak yet touching noir tale worthy of Jim Thompson or David Goodis.
Africa has also attracted the attention of crime writers from elsewhere, including Patricia Highsmith and Michael Pearce, who set his Mamur Zapt series in late colonial Egypt. Among Australia's fine crime writers, Peter Temple was born in South Africa, and David Owen was born in Zimbabwe and grew up in Malawi and Swaziland. Both are worth reading whether or not they satisfy the rules of this Global Reading Challenge or any other.
Happy reading wherever you may roam.
© Peter Rozovsky 2010