Wednesday, October 22, 2008

African Crime Fiction

I stumbled across this in my local library the other day. First published in English in 2001, it's recently been reissued by Serpent's Tail. The library has classified it as 'crime'. I've not read it (yet).

Henning Mankell says: "‘Mia Couto is a white man with an African soul’.

A police inspector is investigating a strange murder, a case in which all the suspects are eager to claim responsibility for the act.

Set in a former Portuguese fort which stored slaves and ivory, Under the Frangipani combines fable and allegory, dreams and myths with an earthy humour. The dead meet the living, language is invented, reality is constantly changing.

In a story which is partly a thriller, partly an exploration of language itself, Mia Couto surprises and delights, and shows just why he is one of the most important African writers of today.

You can read an extract on

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Looks quite intriguing. Why are all African covers so similar - primary colours, vaguely primitive theme, etc?
I enjoyed that book by Michael Stanley (pen name for two authors) "A Carrion Death" I think it was called. And there is old Alexander McCS. I have not tried Henning Mankells African output - it doesn't get great reviews, btu this looks quite intriguing. Maybe a bit Colin Cotterill-ish?