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…

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.