I started with Under The Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta followed immediately by The Hairdresser Of Harare by Tendai Huchu. In the former, the protagonist is lesbian in Nigeria, in the ‘70s, a time where you could be burnt alive for being a homosexual and no one would care. The religious fanaticism is so deep you want to laugh but the sadness won’t let you. The Hairdresser Of Harare, on the other hand, is a story of how Vimbai, an average Christian woman trying her best to secure a good future for her daughter, meets Dumi, a young gay man who can’t openly be himself because, well, Zimbabwe. And family. Great pair, these books, on awareness of just how hard it is to be yourself when what you do in the privacy of your own space is regarded so unacceptable it’ll have you killed.