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Africa: Stories in the 55
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Characters haunted by memories, prejudice in Nigeria novel "Crocodile Girl"

By Laura Angela Bagnetto

In this month's Africa: Stories in the 55, Nigerian novelist Sam Omatseye talks about his book Crocodile Girl, a modern tale steeped in oral tradition. He tells the story of Alero, a woman too beautiful to be accepted by her village and the pain and suffering carried through the generations.

Omatseye also addresses prejudice and stigma through his American character, Tim, who is on a quest to discover his family's controversial past and how it connects to Orogun village near Warri, Nigeria. The complex story explores how the past can haunt the present, seen through the eyes of villagers and foreigners in Crocodile Girl.

Contrasting images of his native Nigeria in Nnamdi Ehirin's debut novel, The Prince of Monkeys

South African novelist Mphuthumi Ntabeni shines a light on the Xhosa narrative

Life and sensuality in a refugee camp in Suliaman Addonia's "Silence is My Mother Tongue"

Somali writer Ubah Cristina Ali Farah speaks of trauma intertwined with beauty in her story "Jujube"

Zimbabwean novelist Tsitsi Dangarembga explores post-war trauma in "This Mournable Body"

The perils for Zimbabweans crossing the border into South Africa personified in Sue Nyathi's new novel, The Gold-Diggers

Honoring those who lived through Zimbabwe's Gukurahundi in Novuyo Rosa Tshuma's novel, House of Stone

Kenyan writer Kiprop Kimutai's short story speaks about the privilege of wealth in a queer environment

Does trauma define the person? Aminatta Forna's latest novel, Happiness, explores love and loss

Musician examines his integrity in Nigerian magical realism novel Taduno's Song

The struggle in Ethiopia continues - there's no stopping half way, says political poet Hama Tuma

Tense, compelling Zimbabwean tales in Behind Enemy Lines short stories

Naivo's Beyond the Rice Fields crafts an epic historical tale set in the highlands of Madagascar

Karim Miské dazzles readers with award-winning crime novel "Arab Jazz"

A glimpse into the lives of Lagosians in Nigerian Ayo Sogunro's short story collection

Love and infertility issues in "Stay with Me", a new novel by Ayòbámi Adébáyò

Young Congolese man trying to deal with life and school in JJ Bola's new novel; Nommo Awards for African Speculative Fiction

South Africa's WWI tragedy immortalised in new novel; Rwandan genocide as seen by Djiboutian writer

Surviving the outbreak of the Somali civil war; academic finds modern-day parallels to 19th century Muslim leader