Top 10 Ugandan Fictional Books You Shouldn't Miss

There are many fictional books by Ugandan writers worth reading, but here are 10 that I think you might enjoy:

Sep 20, 2023 - 21:12
Top 10 Ugandan Fictional Books You Shouldn't Miss

In the vast world of literature, Ugandan authors have carved out a unique space with their compelling stories that reflect the rich cultural tapestry and complex history of their homeland. From poignant family sagas to gripping tales of survival, here are 10 fictional books by Ugandan authors that deserve a spot on your reading list.


Kintu, by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi

This is a historical novel that traces the lineage of a cursed clan from the pre-colonial era to the present day. It explores the cultural and political changes that have shaped Uganda and Buganda over the centuries.


Song of Lawino and Song of Ocol by Okot p'Bitek

This is a classic work of African literature that consists of two long poems. The poem is a dialogue between a traditional wife and her modernised husband, who clash over their views on culture, identity, and morality.


Abyssinian Chronicles by Moses Isegawa

 This is a saga that follows the life of a boy named Mugezi, who grows up in the turbulent times of post-independence Uganda. The book portrays the social and political upheavals that have marked Uganda's history, such as the dictatorship of Idi Amin and the civil war.


The First Daughter by Goretti Kyomuhendo

In this riveting novel, Kyomuhendo delves into the world of politics and power, following the life of Hope, a strong-willed woman who becomes the first female president of Uganda. The story is a compelling exploration of ambition and the cost of leadership


Tropical Fish by Doreen Baingana

This is a collection of short stories that depict the lives of young women in Uganda. The stories deal with themes such as love, sexuality, family, religion, and politics.


The Last King of Scotland, by Giles Foden

This is a thriller that tells the story of a Scottish doctor who becomes the personal physician and confidant of Idi Amin, the notorious dictator of Uganda. The book explores the psychology and brutality of power as well as the moral dilemmas of the doctor.


Waiting by Goretti Kyomuhendo

This is a novel that narrates the experiences of a young girl named Alinda, who lives in a village in northern Uganda during the civil war. The book portrays the horrors and hardships of war as well as the resilience and hope of the people.


The Headline That Morning by Peter Kagayi

 This is a poetry collection that reflects on the contemporary issues and challenges facing Uganda and Africa. The poems cover topics such as corruption, poverty, violence, media, education, and identity.


Snakepit by Moses Isegawa

 This is a sequel to The Abyssinian Chronicles that continues the story of Mugezi, who becomes a spy for the government of Yoweri Museveni. The book exposes the corruption and intrigue that pervade the political system as well as the personal struggles of Mugezi.


The Bitter Bread of Exile: The Financial Problems of Sir Edward Mutesa II During His Final Exile 1966–1969 by Apollo N. Makubuya

This is a historical novel that fictionalises the last years of Sir Edward Mutesa II, the former king of Buganda and president of Uganda, who was exiled by Milton Obote in 1966. The book reveals the financial difficulties and humiliations that Mutesa faced in exile, as well as his efforts to restore his throne.


The Triangle by Nakisanze Segawa

This is a historical novel that reimagines the events leading to the 1888 religious wars in Buganda. The book follows the perspectives of three characters: Nagawa, a princess who converts to Christianity; Kalinda, a page who becomes her lover; and Kabaka Mwanga, the king who opposes the foreign religions.


The Official Wife, by Mary Karooro Okurut

A thought-provoking exploration of marriage and societal expectations, this novel tells the story of a woman who must grapple with her husband's unconventional choices and her own desire for independence.


30 years of Bananas by Alexsoey Mukulu

Alex Mukulu's play has been characterised as the most significant novel to come out of Uganda by writer Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi. This drama offers a humorous look at everything Uganda has celebrated, suffered, and lost over the past three decades via the experiences of the narrator, a Rwandan exile named Kaleekeezi.

These 10 fictional books by Ugandan authors showcase the diversity and depth of storytelling talent emerging from Uganda. Each book offers a unique lens through which to view the country's history, culture, and contemporary issues. Whether you're interested in family dramas, historical narratives, or contemporary fiction, these hidden gems deserve a place on your reading list. Dive into the rich literary world of Uganda, and you'll be rewarded with unforgettable stories and fresh perspectives.


The list is by no means conclusive, as there are many beautifully written Ugandan books. I encourage you to include Ugandan fiction books you have enjoyed in the comments.

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