Ten African books have made it to the ‘100 Best Fantasy Books of All Time’ list published by TIME Magazine. The list celebrates the best, most captivating and essential fantasy books dating back to the 9th century.
In 2019, TIME Magazine recruited a panel of leading fantasy authors which included Tomi Adeyemi, Cassandra Clare, Diana Gabaldon, Neil Gaiman, Marlon James, N.K. Jemisin, George R.R. Martin and Sabaa Tahir to join TIME staff in nominating the top books of the genre. However, panelists did not nominate their own works.
According to TIME, a ranking was created based on the nominations and considered each finalist based on key factors like originality, ambition, artistry, critical and popular reception, and influence on the fantasy genre and literature more broadly.
“These are fraught times – but there have always been fraught times for someone in the world, somewhere. And there have always been those whose mastery of the art of storytelling has helped us understand how powerfully stories shape the world,” N. K. Jemisin writes in her introduction to the list.
Here are the 10 African books that made the list:
The Palm-Wine Drinkard by Amos Tutuola (1952)
My Life in the Bush of Ghosts by Amos Tutola (1954)
Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor (2010)
Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor (2011)
A Stranger in Olondria by Sofia Samatar (2013)
Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi (2017)
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (2018)
Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi (2019)
Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James (2019)
Pet by Akwaeke Emezi (2019)