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Topic: Need Suggestions for African Romances

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Subject: Need Suggestions for African Romances
Date Posted: 5/28/2008 1:58 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2005
Posts: 5,238
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Fellow romance lovers,

I'm competing in a reading contest on Shelfari.com in June.   I need to read as many books (as many pages really) as possible that have an African theme (about Africa, set in Africa, etc.).   I'd like to throw a few romances in the mix, but can't think of any romances set in Africa.   Have any suggestions for me?


Date Posted: 5/28/2008 2:17 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2007
Posts: 13,134
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"The Last Twilight" (Marjorie M. Liu) is set partially in Africa, IIRC.

Date Posted: 5/28/2008 3:43 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2008
Posts: 2,553
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Here's a list I pulled from AAR:


Middle East and Africa

  • Hold Back the Night (11/1986) by Linda Barlow - SIM-166 - contemporary Turkey
  • To Galilee with Love (2/2000) by Eileen Berger - HSNG-366 - contemporary Israel
  • A Veiled Journey (1999) by Nell Brien - contemporary Saudi Arabia
  • As You Desire (1997) by Connie Brockway - 1890's Egypt
  • The Wind and the Sea (1986) by Marsha Canham - Renaissance Barbary Coast, and the Caribbean
  • Mr. Impossible (2005) by Loretta Chase - 19th century Egypt
  • Empire of the Heart (1989) by Jasmine Craig - 19th century Afghanistan
  • The Magician's Quest (1995) by Claire Delacroix - 11th century North Africa
  • Bold Destiny (1990) by Jane Feather - 19th century Afghanistan
  • Caravan (1992) by Dorothy Gilman - early 20th century Africa
  • The Captive (1996) by Brenda Joyce - 19th century Libya
  • Trade Wind (1968) by M.M. Kaye - 19th century Zanzibar
  • No Brighter Dream (1994) by Katherine Kingsley - 19th century Turkey
  • The Dream Hunter (1994) by Laura Kinsale - 1840's Arabia
  • The Lady and the Lion (2001) by Cynthia Kirk - 19th century Egypt
  • The Book of the Seven Delights (2005) by Betina Krahn - 1890's Morocco
  • Captive Bride (1977) by Johanna Lindsey - 19th century Egypt
  • Silver Angel (1988) by Johanna Lindsey - 18th century Arabia, Barikah and the Barbary Coast
  • Lady of the Upper Kingdom (1996) by Merline Lovelace - HH-320 - Ancient Egypt
  • Four Quarters of the World (2006) by Karen Mercury - 1860's Abyssinia
  • The Hinterlands (2005) by Karen Mercury - 19th century Kingdom of Benin
  • Crocodile on the Sandbank (1975) by Elizabeth Peters - 19th century Egypt
  • Silk and Secrets (1992) by Mary Jo Putney - 19th century Persia and Kafiristan
  • Hot Ice (1987) by Nora Roberts - contemporary Madagascar
  • Heart of the Falcon by Suzanne Robinson (1990) - Ancient Egypt during King Tut's reign
  • An Autumn in Araby (1983) by Carola Salisbury - 19th century Egypt
  • The Cobra and the Lily (2002) by Sheri Cobb South - Ancient Egypt
  • The Gabriel Hounds (1967) by Mary Stewart - contemporary Lebanon
  • Echoes of the Garden (6/1991) by Marilyn Tracy - SIM-387 - contemporary Israel
  • Black Amber (1964) by Phyllis Whitney - contemporary Turkey
  • Desert Rogue (1995) by Erin Yorke - HH-285 - 19th century Egypt




Date Posted: 5/28/2008 5:14 PM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2005
Posts: 1,008
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A lot of the older (60's and 70's and into the early 80's) Harlequin romances and Presents were set in Africa.  Doesn't seem to be a theme anymore.  One that leaps to mind would be Midnight Lover by Charlotte Lamb (presents).  A young English girl finds out that the man she always thought was her father was actually her stepfather.  Her real father is a doctor in Africa.  She sets out to find him and gets caught up in a war and meets Someone.  Not all the story takes place in Africa though.


Another really good Presents that I thought of is Forever by Lynn Turner.  Also takes place in Africa during a civil war or coup or whatever. 

Last Edited on: 5/28/08 5:25 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/28/2008 5:46 PM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2007
Posts: 1,130
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Hmmm...the ones I can think of have already been said, but I think you'll find Mr. Impossible to be entertaining.

I did want to give some non-romance suggestions though, if that is permitted.

Chinua Achebe - Things Fall Apart

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun

John Burnett - Where Soldiers Fear to Tread

Albert Camus - The Stranger

Don Cheadle and John Prendergast - Not On Our Watch: The Mission to End Genocide in Darfur and Beyond

J.M. Coetzee - Disgrace or Youth (or any Coetzee, actually)

Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness

Bryce Courtenay - Power of One (GREAT book set in South Africa; there is a sequel that has a romance in it between the protagonist of Power of One and the title character, Tandia)

Sarah Erdman - Nine Hills to Nambonkaha (Peace Corps volunteer account of service in Cote d'Ivoire)

Alexandra Fuller - Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood and Scribbling the Cat

Peter Godwin - When a Crocodile Eats the Sun: A Memoir of Africa and Mukiwa

Philip Gourevitch - We Wish to Inform You that Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families

Dean King - Skeletons on the Zahara

Naguib Mahfouz

Nelson Mandela - Long Walk to Freedom (quite long)

Scott Peterson - Me Against My Brother

Josh Swiller - The Unheard: A Memoir of Deafness and Africa

Michela Wrong - In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz and We Didn't Do It For You: How the World Betrayed a Small African Nation

I'm sure you probably already know some if not most of these, but thought I'd throw them out there. I could probably rustle up a few more titles, if you're interested.

Date Posted: 5/30/2008 10:22 AM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2005
Posts: 5,238
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Thanks for the recs!   A special thanks for to Sarah for looking this up on AAR, something I didn't even thing to do.  I've got one of the Johanna Lindsey books on my keeper shelf and had totally forgotten that it was set in northern Africa.  And the Betina Krahn book is on my TBR, so it's definitely going to get read soon.

Grace,  Thanks for the non-romance recommendations.  I already knew about almost all of them.   The discussion group on Shelfari.com that is sponsoring this challenge has a thread going for recommendations, so most of those books already popped up on that thread.   But for some reason, noone recommended any romances!  So many books about Africa are serious memoirs and that's good for a while, but I need some lightness to break it up.   So I'll be alternating between the serious books and romances and light mysteries.


Last Edited on: 5/30/08 10:24 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/30/2008 11:38 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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Not Romance but excellent reads although they aren't very long.  The Ladies #1 Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith.  Great, great series.  They take place in Botswana.

Date Posted: 5/30/2008 12:25 PM ET
Member Since: 4/16/2007
Posts: 1,130
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I see what you mean, alternating serious and non-serious. I did want to mention Kat Martin's Perfect Sin. I believe that's what it's called. Anyway, the heroine runs away from her husband, the duke, who she thinks is cheating on her, and he kind of is. Her father is an archaeologist and she goes to him where they are searching for a necklace, and if I remember correctly, that takes place in Africa, but I can't remember if the location is specified. Anyway, just thought I'd mention it.

Also, if you need more North Africa books, I think there is a fiction book that takes place in Algeria or Tunisia or somewhere up there called In the Country of Men by Hisham Matar. I have been wanting to read it for awhile, but haven't gotten around to it yet. I think it is a little lesser known. Also, Yasmina Khadra is an Algerian writer who writes books that are set in North Africa or the Middle East. I've only read Swallows of Kabul that wouldn't qualify, but I thought it was quite good.

Date Posted: 5/30/2008 1:17 PM ET
Member Since: 9/29/2007
Posts: 439
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Every Whispered Word by Karyn Monk plays partly in Africa.

Date Posted: 5/31/2008 2:25 AM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2005
Posts: 1,012
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Jan Andersen's The Silent Moon is a 1971 Harlequin Romance set in Africa.  I think I just sent a copy to Willa :)