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    A Woman Alone: Autobiographical Writings

    by Bessie Head

     

    Journalistic sketches, essays and personal notes form a biographical study of South African born Bessie Head’s complex existence.

    1,000
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    Aké: The Years of Childhood

    by Wole Soyinka

     

    Aké: The Years of Childhood gives us the story of Soyinka’s boyhood before and during World War II in a Yoruba village in western Nigeria called Aké. A relentlessly curious child who loved books and getting into trouble, Soyinka grew up on a parsonage compound, raised by Christian parents and by a grandfather who introduced him to Yoruba spiritual traditions. His vivid evocation of the colorful sights, sounds, and aromas of the world that shaped him is both lyrically beautiful and laced with humor and the sheer delight of a child’s-eye view.

    A classic of African autobiography, Aké is also a transcendantly timeless portrait of the mysteries of childhood.

    4,000
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    Ibadan: The Penkelemes Years; A Memoir: 1946 – 1965

    by Wole Soyinka

     

    Ibadan is the third volume in Wole Soyinka’s series of memoirs, the sequel to Ake and Isara. In a mixture of fact and fiction – to protect the innocent and nail the guilty and shape an often intolerable reality – it tells of the coming of age of a writer and political activist; and of a nation’s betrayal.

    4,000
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    Ìsarà: A Voyage Around “Essay”

    by Wole Soyinka

     

    The 1986 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature–the first African to be awarded the prize–writes a highly incisive and deeply affecting re-creation of colonial Nigeria based on a cache of letters he discovered after his father’s death.

    4,000
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    Lagos: City of the Imagination

    by Kaye Whiteman

     

    Lagos is fast becoming a global city – a place people visit for curiosity and the vibe as much as for business or family. The mesmerising energy and intensity of the city have to be experienced to be understood. But what is the story of Lagos? When did the city begin? Who were the first inhabitants? When did it become the city of iniquity and wisdom that continues to confound all who encounters it? Who have been the key chroniclers of this real yet imaginary city?

    Veteran journalist and writer Kaye Whiteman has given us a gem that answers these questions and more. Lagos: City of the Imagination explains the origins of Lagos as both outpost of the Benin Empire and also the city run by the White Cap Chiefs. Whiteman shows that Lagos was always multicultural and cosmopolitan, with the Portuguese and later educated returnees from Sierra Leone and artisans from Brazil adding to the eclectic mix.

    6,500
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    Longthroat Memoirs: Soups, Sex and Nigerian Taste Buds

    by Yemisi Aribisala

     

    One of the most enduring myths on the Nigerian femme fatale – mammy-water, ‘winch’ or husband-snatcher – has to do with the cooking of fish stew … A woman can do what she likes with a man when she knows how to satisfy his appetite for food. Long throat Memoirs presents a sumptuous menu of essays about Nigerian food, lovingly presented by the nation’s top epicurean writer. As well as a mouth-watering appraisal of the cultural politics and erotics of Nigerian cuisine, it is therefore a series of love letters to the Nigerian palate. From innovations in soup, fish as aphrodisiac and the powerful seductions of the yam, Long Throat Memoirs examines the complexities, the peculiarities, the meticulousness, and the tactility of Nigerian food.

    5,500
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    One Day I Will Write About This Place

    by Binyavanga Wainaina

     

    In this vivid and compelling debut memoir, Wainaina takes us through his school days, his mother’s religious period, his failed attempt to study in South Africa as a computer programmer, a moving family reunion in Uganda, and his travels around Kenya.

    2,000
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    There Was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra

    by Chinua Achebe

     

    The defining experience of Chinua Achebe’s life was the Nigerian civil war, also known as the Biafran War, of 1967–1970. The conflict was infamous for its savage impact on the Biafran people, Chinua Achebe’s people, many of whom were starved to death after the Nigerian government blockaded their borders.

    He took the Biafran side in the conflict and served his government as a roving cultural ambassador, from which vantage he absorbed the war’s full horror. Immediately after, Achebe took refuge in an academic post in the United States, and for more than forty years he has maintained a considered silence on the events of those terrible years, addressing them only obliquely through his poetry.

    Now, decades in the making, comes a towering reckoning with one of modern Africa’s most fateful events, from a writer whose words and courage have left an enduring stamp on world literature.

    2,000
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    You Must Set Forth at Dawn

    by Wole Soyinka

     

    In the tough, humane, and lyrical language that has typified his plays and novels, Soyinka captures the indomitable spirit of Nigeria itself by bringing to life the friends and family who bolstered and inspired him, and by describing the pioneering theater works that defied censure and tradition. Soyinka not only recounts his exile and the terrible reign of General Sani Abacha, but shares vivid memories and playful anecdotes–including his improbable friendship with a prominent Nigerian businessman and the time he smuggled a frozen wildcat into America so that his students could experience a proper Nigerian barbecue.
    More than a major figure in the world of literature, Wole Soyinka is a courageous voice for human rights, democracy, and freedom. You Must Set Forth at Dawn is an intimate chronicle of his thrilling public life, a meditation on justice and tyranny, and a mesmerizing testament to a ravaged yet hopeful land.

    6,500