Famished Road

Famished Road

Book - 2003
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Set in an unnamed African country at an unspecified time (though the similarities with Nigeria in the early 1960s are unmistakable), The Famished Road is narrated by Azaro, an African spirit-child or abiku who, in the folklore of southern Nigeria, is destined to move continually between life and spiritual paradise in an unending cycle of infant death and rebirth. Azaro, however, is tired of never staying long enough to experience life, and decides on this occasion to remain, "to put", he says, "a smile on my mother's face". Pursued by vengeful spirits, and endowed with special powers that lead him into mischief, Azaro introduces us to a whole world of wonders -- to his mother and father, an impoverished market trader and a load carrier struggling courageously to keep their dignity and their independence; to Madame Koto, the local bar owner whose journey from innocence to corruption mirrors the realities unfolding around her; to the politics, poverty and brutal reality of life in a shanty town in post-colonial Africa; and to Azaro's own intensely imagined visions. As political corruption becomes endemic and as old tribal traditions clash with the forces of urbanisation, the author shows us the extraordinary mix of hope and despair that characterises his community and the sheer vitality of a society where, as Okri has said, "the consequences of your actions are immediate and unavoidable".
Publisher: London : Vintage, 2003
ISBN: 9780099929307
Branch Call Number: F OKR NVD
Characteristics: 500 pages ; 25 cm

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Reclak
Jan 30, 2016

And now we have Marlon James with "A Brief History of Seven Killings". Also has elements of magical realism. The subject centers on the intersection of political upheaval in Jamaica and the outside influence of a cultural icon, one who's vision clashes with the power structures of his day and time. James won the Man Booker prize for this novel in 2015.

k
kityojames
Sep 08, 2015

Painstakingly descriptive, with a strong surreal magical realism. This is one of the most elaborate novels I have seen coming from Africa, with an elaborate prose.

j
jadavies
Apr 15, 2011

This is not an easy book to read, but, it is a magnificent one. It is full of complex topics, beautiful prose, hope, despair, and rich characters. Read it slowly, then put it down for a while, or read it if you can in one go. But, do read it. It is so worth it.

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