Thursday, February 16, 2006


I'm currently chomping through Chris Abani's Graceland, a vivid tale about a young chap called Elvis, set in Lagos late 1970's/early 1980's. Its a stark, tragicomic story and worth a try. However, I nearly put it down early on after reading this sentence,

"Lagos did have its fair share of rich people and their fancy neighbourhoods, though, and since arriving he had found that one-third of the city seemed transplanted from the rich suburbs of the west. There were beautiful brownstones set in well-landscaped yards, sprawling Spanish-style haciendas in brilliant white and ochre, elegant Frank Lloyd Wright-style buildings and cars that were new and foreign."

Quite how a young boy who comes from an Igbo village out East would know about Frank Lloyd Wright or Spanish-style haciendas I'm not sure. Perhaps its possible. A more egregious error however is the Brooklyn brownstone reference. Now I've been to many parts of Lagos, but I have never, ever, seen anything remotely resembling a brownstone. Haba, Mr Abani, is dat what dem call poetic licence?


Ntwiga 9:55 pm  

Now that you are done with Graceland, you might want to give Confessions of an Economic Hitman by John Perkins a try.

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