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The Niger Delta, Soyinka and Family Secrets - #BooksoftheWeek: April 2, 2013

By ZODML on 2 Apr, 2013

Every week, ZODML spotlights three great books from our extensive collection to inspire readers to try out books they might not have previously heard of. The selections fall under three major categories – fiction, non-fiction and children and young adult literature – so there’s a book to suit every taste. Also check out our archives and see what books have been selected in the past. 

Tiny Sunbirds, Faraway by Christie Watson When their mother catches their father with another woman, twelve year-old Blessing and her fourteen-year-old brother, Ezikiel, are forced to leave their comfortable home in Lagos for a village in the Niger Delta, to live with their mother's family. This 2011 Costa Book Award winner is the witty and beautifully written story of one family's attempt to survive a new life they could never have imagined, struggling to find a deeper sense of identity along the way. The Open Sore of a Continent: A Personal Narrative of the Nigerian Crisis by Wole Soyinka  A collection of Soyinka's lectures in which he describes Nigeria's predicament, condemns the country's illegitimate leaders and muses about questions of nationalism and international intervention. He opens and closes the book with the story of Ken Saro-Wiwa, a leader of the Ogoni minority, whose 1995 execution signals to the author both the beginning of ethnic cleansing and the disintegration of the state. Aunty Felicia by Philip Begho Nine-year-old Junior Nelson experiences pain and shock when he sees what he shouldn't see and the grown-ups in his world do not believe his story. Should he now tell a lie to please society and keep his family from unravelling? Junior's confusion increases as he watches truth and disbelief battle for supremacy. Aunty Felicia was the winner of the 2003 ANA/MATATU Prize for Children's Literature.

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