E.C. Osundu’s debut novel, This House is Not for Sale, brings to life the daily affairs of a Nigerian community. It is set in and around a large ‘family house’, owned by the patriarch and overlord ‘Grandpa’. Shrewd, business minded and possessing an air of omnipresence, Grandpa – equally benevolent and tyrannical – presides over a motley ménage of blood relations, tenants, and lackeys, with a firm hand. Continue reading “Bite-size Review: The House Is Not For Sale | E.C. Osondu”
Written by Obinna Udenwe, author of Satans & Shaitans – a conspiracy crime thriller on terrorism, politics and love.
My mother was the one who taught me how to read and write. I was three, four or five years old, I can’t remember – but I remember that I would sit on a small stool in the parlour, place my Macmillan English Course on the centre table, and she would kneel beside me – teaching me how to spell, how to pronounce and form words by merging various letters together. I remember how I would forget easily some words she had thought me and she would ask me to walk round the house, and sing the words aloud: Continue reading “Why African literature: A Writer’s Journey”
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”
O.U I began writing the novel in 2007 but it wasn’t Satans and Shaitans back then, it was a book titled The Clutch Pencil. I was an Engineering student, and one day this lecturer came to class with a clutch pencil. I wondered if it was possible that someone mischievous could unscrew the pencil, remove the pencil lead and insert a poisoned needle, and with that commit some murder – that was how the idea was born. Continue reading “Interview with Obinna Udenwe on Satans and Shaitans”
Satans and Shaitans presents an action packed crime thriller novel with a boisterous narrative. Obinna Udenwe cleverly weaves together a tale of crime and power at the upper echelons of Nigerian politics and society with that of a tragic love story. Set against the backdrop of orchestrated pseudo religious extremist attacks, fashioned in the name of power rather that of Allah, the novel although fictional bears a striking resemblance to what is happening in Nigeria.
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”
Chinelo Okparanta’s Happiness Like Water brings together a melange of short stories centred on contemporary issues faced by Nigerian women. In a powerful and lucid language, the lurid details of women subjected to the failings of a sexist society finds a voice. Whether trudging through the cruel accounts of domestic violence or sexual prejudice, the narrators tone maintain a compassionate composure that speaks volume of the continuing exploitation of women within male hegemonic structures. Continue reading “Bite-size Review: Happiness, Like Water | Chinelo Okparanta”
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”
Much is known about the cruel system of slavery that blighted the African continent for almost 200 years. But in the Slave Girl, Emecheta turns our attention to the distinctive complexion of existing and cultural networks of slavery in Africa at the turn of the century. With her mastery of language and a gift for narrative, she brings to life the story of Objeta, an ill- fated ibuza girl sold to a wealthy aunt by her own brother. Continue reading “Bite-size Review: The Slave Girl | Buchi Emecheta”