A day separates us now from the new year, and with it comes new books to enjoy. Here, we give you a list.
On Ajayi Crowther Street
This graphic novel written by Elnathan John and illustrated by Alaba Onajin is forthcoming from Cassava Republic Press in November. The story is set in a Lagos community where life seems to go on as usual, however, a lot is actually unusual. There are clandestine love affairs, hidden pregnancy, spiritual quackery, and hypocrisy that threatens to tear the community apart.
There is also Reverend Akpoberie and his family, and the secrets and lies begging to be revealed. His only son, Godstime, hides his sexuality, while his daughter, Keturah, hides the truth of her pregnancy and the father who is a pastor. All these must be kept in wraps to preserve the family’s image. Then there’s the Reverend himself and his lust for Kyauta, their live-in maid.
Be(com)ing Nigerian: A guide
This is another book by the novelist and satirist, Elnathan John. ‘Be(com)ing Nigerian: A guide’ is described as “a satirical collection that takes a searing look at how different forms of power are abused, negotiated and performed both in the private and public realm.
Also, “through attempting to satirise those who abuse privilege or power, it recognises that power can be found everywhere: in politics, business, religious institutions and in homes.
From the exploration of religious hypocrisy in ‘How To Worship The Nigerian God’, to ‘A Letter to My Future Kidnapper’ which tackles the growing scourge of kidnapping, the collection is a jab at Nigerian society and what it means to be a Nigerian. Beyond poking fun at the holders of power, it is a summon, a provocation and a call for introspection among all levels of society. As it is often said in Nigeria, when you point with one finger, there are four others pointing back at you. This is an engrossing read for Nigerian watchers, and strangers to Nigeria alike, with its tongue-in-cheek look at Nigeria’s relationship to the world, both culturally and politically.”
The Voyage of Saints
Published by one of Nigeria’s newest publishing outfits, Masobe, ‘The Voyage of Saints’ by Marvin Abe “chronicles a young couple’s quest to find happiness and release from the harrowing circumstances that beset them. As they stand together against all the forces determined to keep them apart, their love is tested by elements unimaginable.”
It all begins with Michael Ajose’s dream to find a good wife and become a sailor and captain of his own ship. He is also running away from something – his past. Then he meets Lami George, and in her, the fulfilment of his dream.
A Selection of Nigerian Folktales
Bukar Usman is one author who explores a variety of genres. Every year he brings something to the table, and it’s uaually an important book. In 2019, A Selection of Nigerian Folktales: Themes and Settings, will be released. Since this country is well known for its abundance of stories with many being retold until they outlive generations, this is a welcome development
‘A Selection of Nigerian Folktales: Themes and Settings’ contains seven hundred folktales taken from Nigeria’s geopolitical zones, and is described as “one of the most important collections of folktales from Nigeria since 1854.
Kundin Hirarrakin Bukar Usman
Okay, so this book is written in Hausa. Written by Khalid Imam, a Kano based bilingual teacher, poet, playwright and essayist, Kundin Hirarrakin Bukar is a compilation of Dr. Bukar Usman’s interviews spanning over twenty years. A folklorist, creative writer and historian with about thirty books to his name, Usman has made tremendous impact in today’s writing world and this collection couldn’t have come at a better time.