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Mia Couto's first novel, judged one of the twelve best African books of the 20th century
This title is part of the Longman African Writers series
"The ambition of this study is shaped by two somewhat contradictory impulses. The first is to use the novel of war in Africa as a case study to say something broader and bigger about the war novel as a genre across literary traditions and reaching backwards and forwards in history. The second is to deepen our understanding of the novel in Africa by doing a literary history of the genre of the war novel that has been overlooked in relation to the more widely read and canonized Bildungsroman form. Pulling in two different directions, one towards a more global context, and the other inwards, to the specificities of a particular tradition, this book, moreover, stresses the convergence of two sensibilities: the naturalist aesthetic and a humanitarian ethos which takes up the responsibility for the suffering of others. Both these sensibilities are present in culturally hybrid forms in the African war novel, reflecting its syncretism as a narrative practice engaged with the colonial and postcolonial history of the continent. The narration of war broadly evokes some form of these two sensibilities of naturalism and humanitarianism, gesturing towards a universal statement about the experience of war. This study offers a literary history of the war novel in Africa and argues for the genre's distinct contribution to the literary culture of the continent while arguing that the war novel is a form of people's history that participates in a political struggle for the rights of the dispossessed"--
Graceland is a dazzling debut by a singular new talent The sprawling, swampy, cacophonous city of Lagos, Nigeria, provides the backdrop to the story of Elvis, a teenage Elvis impersonator hoping to make his way out of the ghetto. Broke, beset by floods, and beatings by his alcoholic father, and with no job opportunities in sight, Elvis is tempted by a life of crime. Thus begins his odyssey into the dangerous underworld of Lagos, guided by his friend Redemption and accompanied by a restless hybrid of voices including The King of Beggars, Sunday, Innocent and Comfort. Ultimately, young Elvis, drenched in reggae and jazz, and besotted with American film heroes and images, must find his way to a GraceLand of his own. Nuanced, lyrical, and pitch perfect, Abani has created a remarkable story of a son and his father, and an examination of postcolonial Nigeria where the trappings of American culture reign supreme. "A richly detailed, poignant, and utterly fascinating look into another culture and how it is cross-pollinated by our own. It brings to mind the work of Ha Jin in its power and revelation of the new."--T. Coraghessan Boyle
Amadi’s masterpiece of African literature captures village life and practices not yet touched by the white man. The novel’s beautiful, hardworking protagonist, Ihouma, is admired by all in her village. Yet those who express their love for her meet with mysterious tragedy, leaving her devastated. This enticing odyssey, where exemplary attributes go unrewarded and the boundaries between myth and reality are muted, outwits readers with unexpected twists that make them want to keep turning the page.
The moving last memoir of the outspoken critic of the Nigerian regime and international oil companies he held responsible for the destruction of his homeland-who lost his life in the campaign for the basic rights fo the Ogoni people of Nigeria.

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