Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta

No writer wants the defining trait of his or her novel to be that it reminds critics and readers of other best-selling and/or critically acclaimed novels. The Nigerian writer Chinelo Okparanta’s debut novel, Under the Udala Trees, does this from the first page… actually from the very first sentence. I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills. The equator runs … Continue reading Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta

Open City by Teju Cole

Reading Open City, it’s easy to imagine that you’re on the listening end of a psychotherapy session. The narrator, Julius, is a Nigerian-born psychiatrist completing his residency in New York City.  It is from his point-of-view that the reader experiences the novel, which is not so much a sequential narrative of events as it is the gradual dismantling of Julius’ psyche: a man who has emotionally … Continue reading Open City by Teju Cole

Voice of America by E.C. Osondu

E.C. Osondu’s debut collection of short stories, Voice of America,  provides a glimpse into the lives of Nigerian immigrants and explores their complicated relationship to America. In story after story Osondu presents the immigrant experience – uncluttered by dramatic narratives and over-complicated plots.  He writes in a stark prose style which borders on the nondescript.  The incidents he describes are presented as commonplace occurrences so … Continue reading Voice of America by E.C. Osondu