Saturday, August 14, 2010

Two and One from Nigeria--Onaedo, Ifelanwa and Myne Whitman; Also, at the Reading

Nana Ekua's Reading
At 7:15 pm yesterday, 13th August 2010, which was a Friday and instead of it being a portentous evening filled with unearthly activities that would gradually converge in evil, we had literary blessings as Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond read from her novel Powder Necklace. The imagistic reading interspersed with humour got everybody laughing. It was a very successful evening in all aspects: the reading, the book purchasing and signing and the conversation that went on on the sidelines. Questions were asked of her and some also congratulated her of telling this story. All I would reveal for now is that it is a coming-of-age novel as I have purchased a copy for future read and review. Also, I met Kinna at Kinna Reads, a Ghanaian book blogger I had met virtually. It was fun talking about books, something I can spend the rest of my life doing. 

Righting a Wrong
For the past two postings I have been presenting new first novels. So far I have blogged on three of such books from two different countries in two different posts. Today, I present the final installment to the series I began on the 11th of August 2010. Originally, I should have talked about two Nigerians but in the course of the week I realised that there is a wrong I needed to correct. There is another author of Nigerian descent who has been commenting on my blog and who also had published her first novel to much acclaim. I have read a lot of her interviews too. My glossing over her has taught me that the people you tend to overlook most are those closest to you. Sorry Myne, today I correct the wrong.

On a Lot of Things by Ifelanwa Osundolire
About the Author: Ifelanwa Osundolire is an Architect by profession. He was raised in Ondo town and spent a huge chunk of his childhood there with his parents and two brothers 'Kanmi and Ayo. He had his secondary education at F.G.C. Idoani and trained as an Architect in Yabatech and Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife. He is currently a recipient of the British Council Innovation 360 awards and looks forward to a successful year at Birmingham City University both as a real estate professional and a writer.

About the Book: This is a collection of short stories and poems. The themes for the stories range from allegorical stories with undertones of serious national and social issues--examples of which are 'National Greed' and 'Primal Instinct'; to stories that capture the everyday lives of urban dwellers and the challenges the face as experienced in 'Zone B'.

'The Season August Broke' and 'Midnight at Noon' are stories of natural occurrences and how it affects the lives of everyday people witin the confines of the different cultures--rural and urban. Other stories, like 'D and C', explore the world of feminine and the complex daily decisions they need to make in a seemingly gender-unbalanced world. Such are the diverse themes that can be found in this debut collection.

The first word is a poem titled 'Life' which captures the author's perception of life as it is, while the denouement come in 'Ariwa Oja', a poem that seeks to compare our existence to the workings of a traditional market; 'Alexis' is fictional story of Good and Evil. 

Meet the author here.

Onaedo--The Blacksmith's Daughter by Ngozi Achebe
About the Author: Ngozi Achebe was raised in Nigeria and also spent time in England, where she was born, Her interest in 15th and 16th century history was the catalyst for writing Onaedo--The Blacksmith's Daughter which is her debut novel. She currently lives in Olympia, Washington with her children Jennifer and Nnamdi and is a practising physician. She is the niece of Chinua Achebe.

About the Book: The Blacksmith's Daughter is a work of fiction and the tale of two women separated by four hundred years of history. Maxine, a modern American woman who is half-white adn half-African comes across a set of diaries written by a slave in the 16th century and tires to write a book about it. She uses elements of the discovered diaries in her book adn also information she has discovered herself based on ancient stories retold to her by a collaborator.

The main character in the book, Oneado, an Igbo girl, the daughther of a renowned blacksmith, starts her life in an idyllic town in the heart of West Africa, with her own trials and tribulations as a young independent minded girl growing up in a traditional society.

You can purchase the book at amazon. You can meet the author here.

A Heart to Mend by Myne Whitman
About the Author: First note that Myne Whitman is a pseudonym the author coined whilst in secondary school. Her actual name is Nkem Okotcha. She grew up during the 1980s in Enugu, Nigeria. MW has been a teacher, NGO consultant, banker, skate-hire attendant, researcher and Scottish government worker. She currently lives in the United States with her husband. Myne Whitman has enrolled up in several workshops and university(ies) to improve upon the talent she already has as a weaver of stories.

About the Book: Sheltered Gladys Eborah has spent most of her life in a suburb of Enugu brought up in a deprived single parent household after losing her father as a young girl. After finishing her education, she moves to Lagos to seek a job and moves in with an estranged aunt who now wants to be forgiven for all perceived wrongs. Gladys suspects Aunt Isioma abandoned them out of disdain for their poverty, and has the uneasy role of the bridge between both families.

Her new friendships and career achievements gradually transitions Gldays into an independent young woman. Soon, she begins to fall for a wealthy Edward Bestman who, though physically attracted to her, is emotionally unavailable. Edward is very wealthy, but he is haunted by the past of his illegitimate birth and other secrets he  will not share.

Praise for A Heart to Mend
Written by a Nigerian... with Nigerian characters and setting, "A heart to mend" is a fun and fast read.--Pamela Stitch, African Loft Magazine
...a powerful story of how love doesn't strut, nver gives up, never looks back and keeps going to the end.--Shola Adu-Okubote, Femme Lounge Online
...something different. Some may say it is ideal to think about love...but love (romance) still exists against all odds--Temitayo Olofinula, Bookaholic
Meet Myne Whitman here


  1. Thanks Nana, of course there is no hard feeling. The work you're doing is great and I admire it. Keep it up.

    I intend to read Powder Necklace soon, have heard a lot about it.

  2. I'm jealous that you got to meet Kinna :) All three of these books sound great, I'll be on the lookout for them - though 'On A Lot of Things' seems to not be available on Amazon yet which is disappointing.

  3. Thanks Amy... and it was a great meet. Yes, I searched amazon for 'On a lot of things' and came out with nought. I hope it would be on amazon soon.


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