All posts by Tomiwa Ilori

Hustling for Discourse: Between Sociology, Psychology and Literature

By Tomiwa Ilori


  • Title: The Peculiars
  • Author: Jen Thorpe
  • Publisher: Penguin Random House South Africa (Pty) Ltd
  • Number of pages: 243
  • Year of publication: 2016
  • Category: Fiction

The vocabulary of psychiatry became expanded when psychoanalysis and its study occurred as social challenge then later as social experiment. It has since become almost impossible to view mental well-being in isolation from other social attitudes. One of these attitudes considers those afflicted with mental illness as having their own way of perceiving the world, a way that is more interesting than the competing belief that organised society is the real world. More…

The Trigger-Happy Generation

By Tomiwa Ilori


  • Title: Gang Town
  • Author: Don Pinnock
  • Publisher: NB Publishers
  • Number of pages: 312
  • Year of publication: 2016
  • Category: Sociology

‘When I first killed a man in Hanover Park I was 13. It’s a great feeling, the feeling I have when I hold a gun in my hand. I have no fear. I get excited…. Every gun is lot of power’ – Clifton, Hanover Park, 2014

Violence is a means of communication. In whatever language it is expressed, its message spreads fast. One of its most insistent messages is that those who receive hurt should return respect. It is this communicative dimension, as an important trait of every human, that the book Gang Town by Don Pinnock explores. More…

Dissections in the Anatomy of Crime

By Tomiwa Ilori


  • Title: Easy Motion Tourist
  • Author: Leye Adenle
  • Publisher: Cassava Republic Press
  • Number of pages: 327
  • Year of publication: 2016
  • Category: Fiction

Although the perennial perpetuation of untruths about Nigeria can overwhelm, Easy Motion Tourist is a fair depiction of the mass hysteria and genuine fears of Nigerian society in the ’90s. Easy Motion Tourist is a tale of human savagery, a narrative dripping with sordid details. It explores the limits of human capacity to evoke horror and, surprisingly, love. More…

A Witness’s Tale of Rediscoveries

By Tomiwa Ilori


  • Title: Ó Ṣojú Mi
  • Author: ‘Yinká Adébóyè
  • Publisher: Yew Books
  • Number of pages: 196
  • Year of publication: 2010
  • Category: Fiction

Ó Ṣojú Mi is a Yorùbá novel set in western Nigeria, in the period between the early ‘50s and the late ‘90s. The style of the book is a rediscovery of the once popular but now almost forgotten discursive Yorùbá diction. It is a witness’s tale in which the use of language is such that the texture of Yorùbá semantics and didactics can be felt throughout all thirty chapters. More…

Rhetoric of Pain and Other Resources

By Tomiwa Ilori


  • Title: A Nation in Labour
  • Author: Harriet Anena
  • Publisher: Millenium Press Ltd
  • Number of pages: 79
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: Poetry

Pain sells. It is from it that the most beautiful expressions are fashioned to last in time and memory. There has been an attempt to explore the poetics of pain, anguish and feeling in a world where the economy is deception and its currency is ‘fakeness’. That attempt is Harriet Anena’s A Nation in Labour. A Nation in Labour is a four-part treatise that uses elevated language to tell of horror. Anena’s collection of poetry warns society about its warped value system through a disciplined use of satiric responses that resonate. Each part of the treatise soaks our dessicated humanity in fluid cadences. More…

Counting an Amputee’s Nine Fingers

By Tomiwa Ilori


  • Title: The House My Father Built
  • Author: Adewale Maja-Pearce
  • Publisher: Kachifo Limited
  • Number of pages: 175
  • Year of publication: 2014
  • Category: Memoir

Our lives are stories that require courage to be told. The House My Father Built is one of such stories. The book is a memoir whose humour is at brilliant par with its sarcasm, wit and satire. It is about the author’s fight, through the challenges of being Nigerian and living in Nigeria, to take possession of what is his. The House My Father Built carefully stings into consciousness memories of Nigeria in the ‘90s. The political, economic and social milieu of that period is brought into sharp focus, and what living through it meant for the average Nigerian is presented from a detached point of view and from the standpoint of having experienced it directly. More…

The Past That Is Not History

By Tomiwa Ilori


  • Title: Regarding Muslims: From Slavery to Post-Apartheid
  • Author: Gabeba Baderoon
  • Publisher: Wits University Press
  • Number of pages: 207
  • Year of publication: 2014
  • Category: History

The book Regarding Muslims seeks, as its fundamental objective, to theorise the history of Muslims in Cape Town, South Africa. The book is a protest staged on the page. With picturesque imagery, the author generates topics for intellectual discourse, works to create equality in the eyes of history and works on how the righting of wrong narratives must be set in motion. By means of historical evidence and by arguments, the book treats contemporary issues that range from slavery to race to Islam. Lenses like slavery and race are used to review the ascendancy of Muslims in the Cape. The literary preoccupations of the book are both historical and contemporary, and careful attention is given to revisionist perspectives. More…