Worth checking out

Compiled By Lucia Raimbault

Long Walk to Freedom. By Nelson Mandela. Abacus Pounds 8.99. 0 349 10653 3 The memoirs of Nelson Mandela now out in paperback. In The TES review, Beverley Naidoo found it "absorbing reading . . . the work of a great politician who still retains the ability to reflect on himself as a mere mortal."

Africa: Granta 48. Penguin Pounds 7.99 0 14 014087 5

In this paperback magazine, 12 writers describe a continent undergoing change. Contributors include Paul Theroux, Lynda Schuster and William Boyd.

Bessie Head: Thunder Behind Her Ears. By Gillian Stead Eilersen. James Currey Pounds 12.95. 0 85255 535 0

A biography of Bessie Head, a mixed race 1930s South African. Born in an asylum because her mother was branded insane for loving a black man, she struggled for independence and became a journalist in Johannesburg. In the 1960s she went into exile in rural Botswana and began her literary career. Her novels include Where Rain Clouds Gather and Maru.

African Women: Three Generations. By Mark Mathabane. Hamish Hamilton Pounds 17.99. 0 241 13506 0

A story of three generations in Mathabane's family - his mother, grandmother and sister Florah. All three stories tell of life in the cultural tradition of "lobola" or "bride price", that makes the woman the property of the men they are sold to.

African Women Writers Series: One is Enough. By Flora Nwapa. Africa World Press Pounds 7.99. 0 86543 322 4

Written by Nigeria's first woman novelist, this is the story of one woman's struggle to gain her independence. Amaka, aged 30, discovers that her husband is going to marry another woman who already has had two sons by him. She decides to leave him and his beatings and go to Lagos. She becomes a successful businesswoman, falls in love with a Catholic priest and has to decide whether to remarry.

Cowrie Card Scheme Allows education and voluntary community groups in Greater London to make at least one trip to selected Africa 95 venues at the lowest possible price. Contact Sonia Johnson-Trinity Connections, Suite C22, Research House, Fraser Road, Perivale, Middlesex UB6 7AQ.

Inset days 198 Gallery Education Department are running Inset days to accompany each exhibition. Each Inset will include the exhibiting artist and a guest. Suitable for primary and secondary teachers. Details: 198 Railton Road, London SE24 0LU (0171 978 8309).

Barbican Cinema

Two-week season, October 6-19, featuring 20 films from north and sub-Saharan Africa rarely seen by European audiences (0171 638 5403).

Midlands Arts Centre, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham October 25, twenty six free 90 minute tours of the exhibition are on offer to photography groups and students and will be led by exhibition curator Gordon Metz from the Mayibuye Centre, University of the Western Cape. Musicians Nana Tsiboe and Ben Brako are undertaking composition workshops with four schools at Mac.

Adzido Pan African Dance Ensemble

London premi

re of Thand Abantwana at Sadler's Wells Theatre, October 31- November 4. Schools matinee on November 2 to explore issues raised.

Badejo Arts: Sisi Agbe AyeOpening the Gourd of Life.

African dance, Nottingham Playhouse October 26 (01159 941 9419). The Place, London, October 31 and November 1 (0171 387 0031). For other dates around the country phone Anna Arthur on 0171 637 2994.

University of Kent writer in residence Gita Harihan is the university's fifth writer in residence. She and Somalian Nurrundin Farah, whose novels include From a Crooked Rib and Maps, will be staying at the university during October and November next year. Contact them via professor Lyn Innes, School of English, University of Kent, Canterbury CT2 7NY.

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