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African-Swedish Bookshelf Delights: 7 Must-Read Authors and Literary Gems

Sep 23, 2023 10:00AM ● By Oluwadamilola Akindolire

Hey there, fellow book lovers! Get ready to embark on a literary journey that will take you from the heart of Africa to the vibrant streets of Sweden. We're about to dive into an extraordinary world of books by African-Swedish authors that are sure to dazzle your mind and warm your soul.

One of the most enchanting aspects of African-Swedish literature is the exploration of dual identities. These authors bridge the gap between their African heritage and Swedish upbringing, and their books provide a window into the beauty of this unique fusion.


The world of African-Swedish literature is a treasure trove of diverse voices and stories waiting to be uncovered. Whether you're in the mood for historical insights, thrilling mysteries, heartwarming tales, or thought-provoking poetry, there's something here for everyone.

Esi Edugyan – The Elegance of Language


Let's kick things off with Esi Edugyan, a remarkable author who beautifully blends her Ghanaian roots with her Swedish experiences. Her novel, From the Shadows, is a tapestry of languages, cultures, and emotions. As you flip through the pages, you'll feel the heartbeat of both continents. It's a love letter to identity and the power of storytelling. 

 Måns Mosesson – The Gripping Thriller Maestro

For those of you who crave suspense and intrigue, Måns Mosesson is your go-to author. Born to a Swedish mother and a Nigerian father, he weaves nail-biting tales that keep you on the edge of your seat. Check out The Stockholm Conspiracy for a rollercoaster ride through the streets of Sweden, with a hint of African mystique.

 Imbolo Mbue – The Human Connection

Imbolo Mbue's novel Behold the Dreamers is a true gem. Born in Cameroon and now residing in the United States, Mbue's storytelling transcends borders. This book explores the lives of immigrants in New York City, a tale that resonates with anyone who has ever pursued a dream in a foreign land. You'll laugh, cry, and ultimately feel more connected to the world.

 Niklas Mesaros – A Journey into Afro-Swedish History

Niklas Mesaros invites us to dive deep into the history of Afro-Swedes with his book Afro-Swedes: A History of Cultural Resilience and Resistance. This comprehensive work sheds light on the rich and often overlooked history of Afro-Swedish communities. It's a celebration of resilience, culture, and the power of knowledge.

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Maryse Condé – The Power of Perspective

Though not African-Swedish, Maryse Condé's novel Segu is a must-read for those interested in exploring the African diaspora. Condé, a Guadeloupean author, takes us on a captivating journey to pre-colonial West Africa. Her vivid storytelling paints a picture of a world filled with tradition, conflict, and change. 

Sarah Ericsson – Afro-Swedish Poetry in Motion

Poetry enthusiasts, this one's for you! Sarah Ericsson's poetry collection, Ink of My Roots, is a mesmerizing exploration of identity, heritage, and love. Her words dance across the page, inviting you to savor every verse. Through her work, she beautifully articulates the complexities of being Afro-Swedish.

 Abdulrazak Gurnah – A Nobel Laureate's Craft

We can't talk about African-Swedish literature without mentioning Abdulrazak Gurnah, a Nobel laureate hailing from Zanzibar. His novel Paradise takes you on a poetic journey through the African diaspora. Gurnah's prose is nothing short of art, a reflection of his diverse heritage and profound storytelling talent.

The African-Swedish bookshelf is a vibrant tapestry of voices, stories, and experiences that deserve a special place on your reading list. These authors have mastered the art of weaving together their African and Swedish identities, creating literary gems that are as unique as they are captivating. So, grab a cup of tea or coffee, snuggle up with one of these books, and prepare to be transported to a world where cultures collide, identities intertwine, and stories come to life. Happy reading, and may your bookshelf forever be enriched by the voices of African-Swedish authors!

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