Africa has an "extraordinary" literary tradition, former US President Barack Obama has said as he shared his summer reading list dominated by Africa’s best writers and thinkers.

Obama, an avid reader and cultural critic, had shared the list on his Facebook page ahead of his powerful speech in Johannesburg to mark the 100th birthday of iconic anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela.

The six-book list, comprising old and new fiction as well as non-fiction, deal with the intrinsic issues that continue to affect Africa today.

The list includes literary classics such as ‘Things Fall Apart’ by Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe, a 1959 novel which chronicles pre-colonial life in the south-eastern part of Nigeria and the arrival of the Europeans during the late nineteenth century. He also included ‘A Grain of Wheat’ by Kenyan writer Ngugi wa Thiong’o which describes the history of colonialism and the consequences of post-colonialism. A more recent suggestion was the novel ‘Americanah’ by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. PTI

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