All too often Africans resort to tried and tested authors such as Ngugi wa Thiongo and Chinua Achebe for books that mirror their lives.
There are not enough books or perhaps no one is interested in selling them to the public.
The editors have compiled a list of short story writers from across the continent. Their voices are fresh, with new insights into the continent's perennial problems.
There is the abused wife whose flight home leads to an encounter with militants who kill her youngest son. Her uncle arrives to tell her that the whole family had been wiped out.
Some of the writers explore the theme of displacement and exile to the imagined lands of happiness in Europe and the US. Their hostile reception bewilders and shocks them into the pathos common to all exiles.
Racism and exclusion colour the love life of mixed couples. A black man who loves the Chinese lifestyle has to contend with in-laws who call him a black ghost. When his Chinese girlfriend falls pregnant, his mother-in-law demands a fat bride price to save face.
There are two stories in the compilation that describe present-day South Africa. A young girl is accosted by foul- mouthed thugs on a train in Cape Town. For once the other passengers stand up to the tsotsis and protect her.
Their disgust at the thugs' casual mention of rape and the degradation of women overcomes their fear and they unite against evil.
A young Afrikaner girl living on the edge of poverty has to coexist with a hated "stepfather" and her mother's acquiescence to his cruelty.
All the girl can think of is becoming a prefect at her school. This status will enable her to apply to a posh school.
Her dream is shattered by a teacher who fails to understand her charge's home life and the superstition that keeps hope alive.