I wondered what I had been missing out on. I wasn’t completely ignorant of literature by women from that part of the world: I’d read Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Ama Ata Aidoo, Bessie Head, Buchi Emecheta, Leila Aboulela, Gillian Slovo, Nadine Gordimer and Zoë Wicomb. Nor was I entirely ignorant of that part of the world. I lived in Sudan for a year, reported from South Africa, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Sierra Leone and visited Ghana on holiday. But it had been at least four years since I read any of those authors and five since I set foot on the continent.