Fiction

image Sector IV: A Dive into Nigeria’s Divisive History

By Agbonmire Ifeh


  • Title: Sector IV
  • Author: Abigail Anaba
  • Publisher: El-jara Connections
  • Number of pages: 232
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: Fiction

Countries that take History seriously teach it to their children. Some other countries, like Nigeria, dump History off their school curricula, cover it up like excreta and run far from it. That is why Nigerian secondary schools largely ignore the pivotal and contentious history of the Civil War. We must not forget that history has the potential to repeat itself, and the defence against the recurrence of unpleasant events is knowledge and understanding. More…

image The Dissolution of the Fouries

By Agbonmire Ifeh


  • Title: What Will People Say?
  • Author: Rehana Rossouw
  • Publisher: Jacana Media (Pty) Ltd
  • Number of pages: 332
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: Fiction

Rehana Rossouw’s What Will People Say? is primarily about the dissolution of a household. The book shows that every family is besieged by forces ready to destroy it, and it takes a large counter-force to prevent that from happening. In addition, the book shows that, sadly, the managing of a home can be a losing game. One may try very hard to be a good parent yet one’s children will turn out bad. More…

image The Spirit of the Desert and the Legend It Births

By Jumoke Verissimo


  • Title: Anubis
  • Author: Ibrahim al-Koni
  • Translator: William M Hutchins
  • Publisher: The American University in Cairo Press
  • Number of pages: 184
  • Year of publication: 2014
  • Category: Fiction

Anubis is a novel that needs to be read like a sacred text, which implies reading it more than once. First, for its density and layers of meaning – the book is like a rich archaeological site that must be revisited, again and again. Second, the reader will derive great pleasure from the beauty of the book’s language. More…

image Lifting the Lid off Death: Review of A Slim, Green Silence

By Tọ́pẹ́ Salaudeen-Adégòkè


  • Title: A Slim, Green Silence
  • Author: Beverly Rycroft
  • Publisher: Umuzi
  • Number of pages: 239
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: Fiction

‘God is a comedian to an audience too afraid to laugh’. – H L Mencken, A Book of Burlesques, quoted in the novel.

A ghost stalks her house and flows above her town, Scheepersdorp, where she has lived all her life. She does not understand why Dr Mkhaliphi, a mysterious boatman, rows her back to the town in the early morning. She cannot remember for how long she has been dead. But she must solve a puzzle from her past as the boatman says, and she has until half past six in the evening to solve the puzzle by observing the everyday lives of the loved ones she left behind. More…

image The Maddening Drive to Make It by Any Means

By Agbonmire Ifeh


  • Title: By Any Means
  • Author: Kurt Ellis
  • Publisher: Human & Rousseau
  • Number of pages: 208
  • Year of publication: 2014
  • Category: Fiction

Kurt Ellis’s By Any Means is a fictional account of the realities of young coloured people in South Africa. It describes the dysfunctional state of the family and society; it shows how poverty ravages a people and how that leads to the emergence of a dog-eat-dog system and the savage struggles for survival. The novel is divided into two parts, a first part titled ‘Cause’ and a second part titled ‘Consequence’. More…

image The Dismal and Grim Life Story of Anna P

By Agbonmire Ifeh


  • Title: The Story of Anna P, as Told by Herself
  • Author: Penny Busetto
  • Publisher: Jacana Media (Pty) Ltd
  • Number of pages: 155
  • Year of publication: 2014
  • Category: Fiction

Penny Busetto’s The Story of Anna P, as Told by Herself is an experimental fusion of literature and psychology – issues of memory, identity, self and existentialism are handled with sagacity. The Story of Anna P, as Told by Herself is a divided into three parts: the first part is titled ‘Book of the Present’, the second part is ‘Book of Memory’ and the last part is ‘Book of the Future’. More…

image Dya’e and Friends

By Tinuke Adeyi


  • Title: An Amber Scarf from Punjab
  • Author: Laila Bouinidane
  • Publisher: Top Press
  • Number of pages: 95
  • Year of publication: 2014
  • Category: Fiction

‘…societies are different and what applies to one cannot automatically and easily apply to another because specificities of cultures are wildly disparate’ – Dya’e

An Amber Scarf from Punjab by Laila Bouinidane is a novella that strives to draw attention to the issues of religious tolerance, the quest for enlightenment, among others things, through a chronicle of the life of a young Moroccan woman. More…

image The Bottom of Another Tale: A Review

By Richard Oduor Oduku


  • Title: The Bottom of Another Tale
  • Author: Su’eddie Vershima Agema
  • Publisher: Sevhage Publishers
  • Number of pages: 146
  • Year of publication: 2014
  • Category: Fiction

The Bottom of Another Tale is a veritable collection of twenty-six stories. Most are confident and moving, with unique and original characters, and a balance of character and plot. Most are intense and zesty, neatly wrought servings with different textures and flavours. It is a carefully considered collection. More…

image More than Faces: A Review of Born on a Tuesday

By Su’eddie Vershima Agema


  • Title: Born on a Tuesday
  • Author: Elnathan John
  • Publisher: Cassava Republic Press
  • Number of pages: 263
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: Fiction

‘For the boys who will never be known

And the girls who become numbers –

Stars without a name’

There are many people who think that Northern Nigeria has only the adherents of one religion, only the people of one ethnicity and that the experiences of one person is the experience of all in the region. Many times, the people of Northern Nigeria are thought of as just faces or, worse, numbers. Perhaps this is what informs Elnathan John’s book dedication in Born on a Tuesday, which is quoted above. More…

image Of Crimson Blossoms: How Much of the Nigerian Society Do You Understand?

By Emeka Ugwu


  • Title: Season of Crimson Blossoms
  • Author: Abubakar Adam Ibrahim
  • Publisher: Parrésia Publishers Ltd
  • Number of pages: 347
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: Fiction

‘The correlation of melancholia and mourning seems justified by the general picture of the two conditions. Moreover, the exciting causes due to environmental influences are, so far as we can discern them at all, the same for both conditions’. – Mourning and Melancholia, Sigmund Freud

‘Nobody is questioned; nobody is questioning; the poet is absent. And the question involves no answer, or rather it is its own answer. Is it therefore a false question?’ – What Is Literature?, Jean-Paul Sartre

In what is arguably his most insightful work, Economic Agenda for Nigeria, published in 1992, Uchenna Nwankwo expatiates convincingly, in very modest but clear terms, on how Nigeria’s ‘bleak and desperate economic situation’, by and large, ‘has had serious implications for the nation’. More…