Fiction

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…

image Between War and Those Left at Home

By Agbonmire Ifeh


  • Title: The Peacekeeper’s Wife
  • Author: Kevin Eze
  • Publisher: Amalion Publishing
  • Number of pages: 271
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: Fiction

Kevin Eze’s The Peacekeeper’s Wife is a mesmerising account of war in another country and how it takes a toll on the family left behind. Narrated in the third person, it tells the tale of a war in the Congo and how peacekeepers are drafted from all over Africa to quench the raging fire devouring that land. Malika is the peacekeeper’s wife and, as would be expected given the book’s title, is the main character of the book. She is beautiful, vivacious and charismatic. Issa, Malika’s newly-wed husband, is drafted to serve in a UN mission, leaving his charismatic wife behind, in Segol, with his father, Salif, his mother, Fatimata, his stepmother, Ami Colle, and his younger brother, Babacar. More…

image Inside the Politics of Our Lives

By Kwabena Agyare Yeboah


  • Title: London – Cape Town – Joburg
  • Author: Zukiswa Wanner
  • Publisher: Kwela Books
  • Number of pages: 337
  • Year of publication: 2014
  • Category: Fiction

Zukiswa Wanner’s witty prose excites, unsettles and discomforts in shocking ways. It reminds the reader, in certain ways, of Ama Ata Aidoo’s prose, but Wanner’s prose is subtler and her work is richer than art that is directed solely at provoking the establishment. More…

image A Review of The Domestication of Munachi

By Agatha Aduro


  • Title: The Domestication of Munachi
  • Author: Ifesinachi O Okpagu
  • Publisher: Parrésia Publishers Ltd
  • Number of pages: 181
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: Fiction

‘For the first time in my adult life, I was struck dumb’.

This is the opening sentence of The Domestication of Munachi, Ifesinachi O Okpagu’s novel about two generations of women and how they handle the domestic issues they face. The novel belongs in the tradition of African literature that deals with aspects of culture relating in particular to women. It evokes memories of such classics as Flora Nwapa’s Efuru and Elechi Amadi’s The Concubine. More…

image 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…

image To Be or Become: A View of Lagos through an Oyibo’s Black Nyash

By Su’eddie Vershima Agema


  • Title: Blackass
  • Author: A Igoni Barrett
  • Publisher: Kachifo Limited
  • Number of pages: 302
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: Fiction

When the bare arse has been seen, what remains for a man to hide? How does our pigment determine our destiny? These questions seem to be the thrust of A Igoni Barrett’s Blackass, a funny novel of being and becoming. When one reads Barrett’s Blackass, Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis comes to mind, and that remains so throughout the book. One notices tributes to that famous, human-to-insect transformation story. For the first few pages, the reader will wonder whether they are not reading Kafka. It does not help matters that the first part of the book is preceded by a quote from the same Kafka. But, let us focus on our Blackass.

More…

image Of Transitions, Agendas and Bad Balls: Thoughts on Hamid Qabbal’s The Road to Mogador

By Su’eddie Vershima Agema


  • Title: The Road to Mogador
  • Author: Hamid Qabbal
  • Publisher: Editions Sefrioui, Essaouira, Morocco
  • Number of pages: 128
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: Fiction

Hamid Qabbal has balls. In his third novel, The Road to Mogador, he disowns allegiance to his balls and paints men as monsters and women as angels trampled by these monsters. The novel is one of transition, new beginnings and gender relations. It belongs to the broad collection of works that form the corpus of Moroccan literature. More…

image Kintu: The Relevance of a Name and a Story

By Tọ́pẹ́ Salaudeen-Adégòkè


  • Title: Kintu
  • Author: Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi
  • Publisher: Kwani Trust
  • Number of pages: 442
  • Year of publication: 2014
  • Category: Fiction

 

– you know, there are the likes of Chinua Achebe, the pioneer editor of the African Writers Series, Wole Soyinka, Léopold Sédar Senghor, Naguib Mahfouz, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Nadine Gordimer, and a host of other giant writers who have fed the world with African stories. More…

image Roses for Betty and Other Stories: Ode to the Journey

By Tinuke Adeyi


  • Title: Roses for Betty and Other Stories
  • Editors: Emmanuel Sigauke and Sumayya Lee
  • Publisher: Centre for African Cultural Excellence (CACE)
  • Number of pages: 119
  • Year of publication: 2015
  • Category: Fiction

The writing of a short story demands a skill set that is unique and quite different from that required in writing a novel. A lot of the choices available to the novelist in the art of creation are simply off-limits to the short story writer, who has to contend with limitations of space in delivering their message, no matter how impassioned, important or controversial. More…