Shortlisted for The Man Booker Prize (2015), Chigozie Obioma’s debut novel The Fishermen, weaves together a resplendent and arresting allegory of fraternal disharmony and mortal redemption. It tells of the misfortunes visited upon a conservative Nigerian family. Mr. James Agwu, is a strict patriarch, whose work at the Nigerian central bank intermittently places him away from his family. In his absence, his sons Obembe, Boja, Ikenna and Benjamin embarks on a fishing adventure. Continue reading “Bite-size Review: The Fishermen | Chigozie Obioma”
Over the past couple of years, I have spent a big chunk of my reading-life, reading and even sometimes re-reading books authored by Africans. This has got nothing to do with me being over-patriotic or too nepotistic but rather in a nutshell as a means of self-rediscovery, or in other words rediscovering my African-ness. The relish with which I jump unto my next book or at an opportunity to buy quality African books at a bargain price has grown fervently if not dramatically with time. The question on why African literature is important, is one that has lingered in the labyrinth of my mind for quite sometime and I find this medium offered by Afrikult. requisite to word my thoughts on this very topic.
Another one of those books that holds an immense potential of being a spectacular piece of literature yet fails to meet the reader’s expectation. Ghana Must Go, unravels a matrix of family dilemmas that commence with the depature of the central character Kweku Sai. It is a tale of truimph over tragedy, love and loss. Continue reading “Bite-size Review: Ghana Must Go | Taiye Selasi”
Every so often the debate on African literature redraws the discursive boundaries in attempt to either redefine or reinforce what African literature is or should be? The drama often commence with a celebrated writer exhorting common and emerging textual trends as transgressive. Continue reading “In Defence of African literature!”
Okey Ndibe explores the relationships between traditional Igbo religious systems and fervent Christian worshipers within contemporary contexts. Creatively subtle Ndibe’s exploration takes place with Ike’s story, a Nigerian middle-aged man, educated to degree level and a cab-driver in New York city. The measly earnings Ike makes from the cab service hardly keep him afloat the mounting bills and outstanding debts, the financial demands of his family in Nigeria, the recovery of his recent divorce, to cover his addiction to gambling and alcohol. Continue reading “Bite-size Review: Foreign Gods, Inc. | Okey Ndibe”
Exquisitely executed, Cole offers a fresh voice and talent to the African literature scene. His debut novel Open City presents an insight into a young Nigerian doctor who encounters and recollects conversations that he had with strangers and patients. Each conversation reveals meditation of history, social class, culture and the individual experience. Continue reading “Bite-size Review: Open City | Teju Cole”
Beautifully crafted with a youthful slant, this novel tells a story of two unsuspecting teenage lovers: Abikė Johnson, a wealthy and favourite daughter of a multi-business owner, and a hawker who remains unnamed throughout the novel. Written in a first person parallel narrative, both protagonists reveal the vast contrast in their lifestyles, worlds and experience of Lagos, Nigeria. This novel starts off with an innocent twist, a seemingly harmless and enchanting love story with themes similar to the traditional fairy tale, Princess and the Frog. Continue reading “Bite-size Review: The Spider King’s Daughter | Chibundu Onuzo”
I must admit that before reading this novel I was originally sceptical due to my neutral fence against the ‘Chimamanda’ hype. Nonetheless, this book surprised me, and not just the good, gentle, ‘take your breath away’ kind of surprise, but the ‘oh-my-dear-God-did-she-really-just-write-this-I-can’t-believe-what-I’m-reading-somebody-slap-me-I’m-in-book-heaven’ kind of surprise. And I loved every moment – until the last quarter (we will come back to this). Americanah shares a story of two teenage lovers: Ifemelu and Obinze. Continue reading “Bite-size Review: Americanah | Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie”