''You thought everybody in America had a car and a gun; your uncles and aunts and cousins thought so, too. Right after you won the American visa lottery, they told you: In a month, you will have a big car. Soon, a big house. But don’t buy a gun like those Americans.They trooped into the room in Lagos where you lived with your father and mother and three siblings, leaning against the unpainted walls because there weren’t enough chairs to go round, to say goodbye in loud voices and tell you with lowered voices what they wanted you to send them. In comparison to the big car and house (and possibly gun), the things they wanted were minor — handbags and shoes and perfumes and clothes. You said okay, no problem''
At times i was frustrated as i read this, because each story was so good you are left wanting more. Dissatisfied at the 20 odd pages, feeling cheated she didn't turn it into 12 novels. It's a fantastic light read. Perfect for spring!
"Fattening for Gabon' is a brilliantly written story. He is an OUTSTANDING writer, able to capture the differences of African nations, pulling them together so beautifully, he highlights the fact that we are all not that different after all.
An excerpt from 'Ex-mas feast';
''Guilt began to build in my gut. Maybe if I had joined a street gang, Maisha would not have wanted to leave. I wouldn't have needed money for school fees, and perhaps there would have been peace between Maisha and my parents. But my anger was directed at the musungu men, for they were the visible faces of my sister's temptation. I wished I were as powerful as Naema's boyfriend or that I could recruit him. We could burn their Jaguar. We could tie them up and give them the beating of their lives and take away all their papers. We could strip those musungu naked, as I had seen Naema's friend do to someone who had hurt a member of his gang. Or we could at least kill and eat that monkey or just cut off his mboro so he could never f*** anybody's sister again. I removed my knife from my pocket and examined the blade carefully. The fact that it was very blunt and had dents did not worry me. I knew that if I stabbed with all my energy, I would draw blood''
Emem Akpan, a man with a natural gift. I cannot wait to read his next one, please read this, it is a genuinely beautiful piece of art.