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    Tuesday, 5 September 2017

    [Nigerian Novels] 10 Must Read Nigerian Novels this 2017

    1. Season of Crimson Blossoms by Abubakar Adam Ibrahim
    In conservative Northern Nigeria, the salacious affair between 55-year-old widow Binta Zubairu anda 26 year-old weed dealer and political thug with the very unusual name Hassan ‘Reza’ is bound to cause more than a ripple.
    Brought together by some unusual circumstances, both see a need only each other could satisfy.
    Binta, who before the encounter, is reconciling herself with God, has the need to unshackle herselffrom the sexual repression that characterised her marriage, and a deprivation that typified her widowhood. But beyond that, there is her desire to redeem herself for the loss of her first son, whose tragic death haunts her still.And so when the thug, Reza, whose real name not many people remember, arrives with a heart emptied by the absence of a mother who abandoned him when he was months old, and rekindles Binta’s passions, they strike it off. As word of his unwholesome liaison with the widow Binta spreads and draws condemnation and social ostracisation for Binta, things get to a head when Binta’s rich son confronts the thug with disastrous consequence.
    Set in the predominantly Muslim north of Nigeria, this story of relationships, and the lack of it, unfurls gently, revealing layers of human emotions and desires.
    2. Night Dancer by Chika Unigwe
    After her mother’s death Mma wants to restore thebonds with her family. First she visits her grandfather, then her father Mike. In telling this story, the author reconstructs the events from the past and gives all those involved a chance to justifythemselves. Relying on tradition, Mike places the entire blame for all that has gone wrong on Mma’s mother.
    Who is right? Who is responsible for all that Mma has missed?
    In 2002, during Mma’s stay with her father, clashesbreak out between Christians and Muslims as a consequence of the Miss Universe contest. These are emblematic of the great contrast that is the basis of the structure of this novel: strict tradition as opposed to contemporary ways of life, or ultimately hiding in the old ways of life or being willing and daring to develop in the wake of social progress.
    In Night Dancer, Chika Unigwe shows the dilemma of people in modern Africa. Her portrayal is effective and is done with subtlety and a keen eye for the complexity of African society.
    To accomplishthis she uses much local color, but she also addresses a universal theme in her characters’ struggle with modern life.
    After all, their prob­lems and tensions, although set in Enugu and experienced with an African state of mind, are universally recognizable
    3. Born on a Tuesday by Elnathan John
    Trained as a lawyer and coming to prominence as acultural commentator and satirist, Elnathan John isa dynamic young voice from Nigeria.Born on a Tuesdayis his stirring, starkly rendered first novel, about an intelligent young boy struggling to find his place in a society that is fracturing along extreme religious and political lines.In the far reaches of northwestern Nigeria, Dantala lives among a gang of street boys who sleep under a kuka tree. During the election, the boys are paid by the Small Party to cause trouble. When their attempt to burn down the opposition’s local headquarters ends in disaster, Dantala must run for his life, leaving his best friend behind. He makeshis way to a mosque that provides him with food, shelter, and guidance. With his quick aptitude and modest nature, Dantala becomes a favored apprentice to the mosque’s benevolent sheikh. But before long, he is faced with a terrible conflict of loyalties. His mother is dying back in his native village, his brothers have joined a rival sect, and one of the sheikh’s closest advisers begins to raise his own radical movement.
    As bloodshed erupts in the city around him, Dantala must decide what kind of Muslim—and what kind of man—he wants to be.
    Told in Dantala’s naive, searching voice, this astonishing debut explores the ways in which young men are seduced by religious fundamentalism and violence, and how friendship can prove to be the strongest bond of all.
    4. Odufa, A Lover’s Tale by Othuke Ominiabohs
    Anthony Mukoro, a struggling writer and a budding poet, discovers he cannot father a child due to health issues, his whole world comes crashing. In pain and a desperate bid to sire an heir, he plunges into the reckless life of a pleasure seeking libertine. But everything changes when he meets and falls head over heels in love with Odufa, a beautiful, young undergraduate with a past.
    Their coming together is fraught with obstacles and challenges from the start. But nothing can keep them apart as they both get entangled in a love affair so intense and powerful it quickly begins to spiral out of control.
    When Odufa miraculously gets pregnant, nothing stays the same. Faced with fierce rejection from Anthony’s family, and their own raging issues which seem hell-bent on drowning them, their fragile love must fight for its survival and salvation amid a sea of overwhelming odds.
    5. Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
    Knowledge comes at a cost, one that Binti is willingto pay, but her journey will not be easy. The world she seeks to enter has long warred with the Meduse, an alien race that has become the stuff of nightmares.
    Oomza University has wronged the Meduse, and Binti's stellar travel will bring her within their deadly reach.
    If Binti hopes to survive the legacy of a war not of her making, she will need both the gifts of her people and the wisdom enshrined within the University, itself - but first she has to make it there,alive.
    6. The Carnivorous City by Toni Kan
    A tale of Abel and the life handed over to him by his younger brother Sabato – a character we are alltoo familiar with in Lagos, the big money spender, the most popular man on the block with an uneasy heart because of his business ties and has been condemned to a life of looking over his shoulders as he monitors his demons.
    Right till the very end I rooted for Sabato, a character who embodied the persona of the city that never sleeps, wired different and ready for the night. The carnivorous city tells a compelling story of the city that is Lagos, the energy, the places, the scales, the people, their stories and the moment that changed their lives.
    7. E.X.O by Roye Okupe
    E.X.O.: The Legend of Wale Williams is a forthcoming graphic novel trilogy centering on a young Nigerian named Wale Williams who returns home to investigate his inventor father’s disappearance in a country overrun with corrupt leaders and robotic exoskeletal drones known as DREDS.
    Set a decade in the future in the Lagos Island-inspired Lagoon City, part one of the superhero series sees Wale inheriting a Nanosuit which gives him superhuman abilities that he uses to protect the city from The C.R.E.E.D, a radical extremist organization that aims to eradicate Lagoon City’s “myopic government.” This recent addition to the emerging canon of African superhero stories is the brainchild of Lagos-born digital animator and YouNeek Studios founder Roye Okupe.
    8. Genesis by Tope Folarin
    A young boy's parents emigrate from Nigeria to the less-than-obvious destination of Utah, where the father receives a mechanical engineering degree but is (surprise, surprise) unable to find a job.
    He moves his family, now with two sons, to the smaller city of Bountiful, Utah, where he located a job as an auto mechanic.
    This less-than-perfect idyll is defined by the slow descent of the boys' mother into insanity, sometimes violently directed at her husband, sometimes violently directed at her oldest son. Told from the oldest son's PoV, this is a heart-wrenching story of lost identity, broken promises, and shattered dreams.What it Means
    9. When a Man Falls From the Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah
    In “Who Will Greet You at Home,” a National Magazine Award finalist for The New Yorker, A woman desperate for a child weaves one out of hair, with unsettling results. In “Wild,” a disastrous night out shifts a teenager and her Nigerian cousin onto uneasy common ground. In "The Future Looks Good," three generations of women are haunted by the ghosts of war, while in "Light," a father struggles to protect and empower the daughter he loves.
    And in the title story, in a world ravaged by flood and riven by class, experts have discovered how to "fix the equation of a person" - with rippling,unforeseen repercussions.
    10. And After Many Days by Jowhor Ile
    An unforgettable debut novel about a boy who goes missing, a family that is torn apart, and a nation on the brink during the rainy season of 1995, in the bustling town of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, one family's life is disrupted by the sudden disappearance of seventeen-year-old Paul Utu, beloved brother and son.
    As they grapple with the sudden loss of their darling boy, they embark on a painful and moving journey of immense power which changes their lives forever and shatters the fragile ecosystem of their once ordered family.
    Ajie, the youngest sibling, is burdened with the guilt of having seen Paul last and convinced that his vanished brother was betrayed long ago. But his search for the truth uncovers hidden family secrets and reawakens old, long forgotten ghosts as rumours of police brutality, oil shortages, and frenzied student protests serve as a backdrop to his pursuit.
    In a tale that moves seamlessly back and forth through time, Ajie relives a trip to the family's ancestral village where, together, he and his family listen to the myths of how their people settled there,while the villagers argue over the mysterious Company, who found oil on their land and will do anything to guarantee support.

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