Showing posts from 2009


Digging for tubers Of barren cassavas The root of our fingers Uprooted Skulls…             And then… Femurs…tibias… Carpals…tarsals… Ribs…metacarpals… Hips…metatarsals… Of seething ghosts Whose spirits Trail our homes Traverse the forests And have no rest Buried in pieces In wide dugouts And trenches Remembered by none Save the termites Which file pass Their dry bones In one long scribble Spelling their life’s Achievements in Twisted epitaphs Their assassins Being our Armageddon shall Taste no death on earth But shall live into The eternity of hell Well deserved When man exacts Judgement unto man His measure is the Firmament’s expanse Which his eyes Cannot size or behold His expectations are The seas whose borders Our brains cannot Point out or stake Pinoche unto Chileans Milosovic’s Serbs unto Yugoslavs’ Albanians Majority Hutus unto Tutsis Hitler’s heinous Holocaust Juiced just for Jews Foday Sanko and his Hand-cutting RUFfians Unto silent Sierra Leoneans Man has buried man


Hi to all my readers and followers, Work took me farther into the villages of Ghana for over a month and these are places where access to the internet is almost nonexistent. Consequently I have not been able to update my blog as often as I used to do.  However, I am still reading and hope to update the blog when I complete the book I am reading.

26. "Incidents at the Shrine" by Ben Okri

Title: Incidents at the Shrine Author: Ben Okri Genre: Short Stories Publishers: Vintage Pages: 136 Year of First Publication: 1986 (this edition, 1993) Country: Nigeria Incidents at the Shrine is a collection of eight short stories by Ben Okri, the 1991 Booker Prize winner (with Famished Road). These eight short stories touch on different aspects of life within Nigeria and in the World at large. Though the stories are varied, a common theme threading through this novel is the magical reality that underlies Okri's writing. In 'Laughter Beneath the Bridge', the Biafran war is told from the viewpoint of a ten year old boy. If it had never occurred to you that wars could also affect the emotional life of younger children then read this short piece. Children and women had most often being cited as the victims of war but the emphasis has mostly been placed  on their geographical and psychological dislocation. However, this short piece tells of how this ten-y

25. "In the Heart of the Country" by J.M. Coetzee

Title: In the Heart of the Country Author: J.M. Coetzee Genre: Novel (Dystopian, Lust, Murder) Publishers: Vintage Pages: 151 Year of First Publication: 1977 (this edition, 2004) Country: South Africa "Today my father brought home his new bride." This is the sentence that set the novel, In the Heart of the Country, in motion and around which every deed in the novel revolves. Set in one of South Africa's remote farming communities, the novel, written in the first person's narrative style and in the present tense and set in the form of journal entries with numbered paragraphs, tells the story of how an old and psychotic virgin, Magda, killed her father and her father's black mistress, Klein-Anna, whom she describes as the new bride, but who in actuality was the wife of Magda's father's servant, Hendrik. In the novel, Magda writes of killing her father in two very different scenarios. In the first scenario, she kills her father together with

The Wall

It fell Because there was no base Because the top was too heavy It fell Because what we see do not matter It is what we do not see that matters most It fell Because it was neither built In our hearts nor in our minds It fell Because it was not there Because it was a phantom of a wall copyright 2007 by Nana Fredua-Agyeman

24. Cloth Girl by Marilyn Heward Mills

Title: Cloth Girl Author: Marilyn Heward Mills Publishers: Cassava Republic Genre: Novel (Love, Tradition, Life) Pages: 371 Year of First Publication: 2006 (this edition, 2008) Country: Ghana Set in the Gold Coast between 1937 and 1952, Cloth Girl is a story about love, distress, heartbreaks and regrets. Cloth Girl is a story about a fourteen-year old girl trapped in a polygamous marriage for which tradition and convention demand that she remains silence and counts her marriage as a blessing, for what a woman should expect from marriage is not love, but children and a husband to take care of her children. Seizing their chance to be associated with the prominent Bannerman family, the Lamptey family accepted  marriage proposal from Lawyer Bannerman for fourteen year old Matilda. At such a young age and being a woman, Matilda did not have a say in her marriage, though it concerned her life. However, Matilda, who was to become a second wife to this prominent Gold Coast l


we die twice: when we are dead and when we finally die! Over the horizon… Harbinger hoppers of damnable doom Darken the sank-sun heavens The green-earth shrivels into ashes Fallow feast of fire Embalms our grasshouse in teary wool Explosions in our cooking pots Our fireplace goes raining And survivalist vultures swirl In a satisfying dinner dance Human hearts in scavenging jaws; Death harvesters With scrotum eyes In rage’s mortal companionship Define the shrine for our spice-sacrifice The storms feast from our foundering boat The mother-toad’s spawned eggs Feed the hatching fishes; One-third, one-half, one All buried beneath a black earthen boil To produce tasteless tubers— Human humus post-humously honoured In yield to kiss spectral lips …those cowries Two to keep our eyes open Four for the barrel to shatter our hearts …and our hearts are shattered …and our eyes closed Our hollow ribs blow death’s deep horn Our horrible deaths dribble the soulless Horn. (As seen th

Commonwealth Awards

I read from The Bookaholic Blog that the winners for the Commonwealth Short Story Competition has been published. Once again, Nigeria, a country known for great literary talents such as Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Ben Okri, Christopher Okigbo, Immomotime Okara, E.C. Osondu, Chimamanda Adichie, Elechi Amadi etc,  dominated the awards.  My belief in Nigerian writers has once again been affirmed by the confirmation of these awards. Nigeria abounds literary talents, and there are rich stories in Nigeria. However, just like any other country and any other profession, fame easily comes to the writer if he escapes the boundary of Africa and sojourn in an European or Western country, even if for awhile. The Regional Winner for Africa:  Kachi A. Ozumba of Nigeria for The One-Armed Thief Winners of the Highly Commended Stories include: Ayobami Adebayo of Nigeria for Dreams Akiwumi Akinwale of Nigeria for LFO Mbofun Carlang of Nigeria for The Father's Blessings Read the

An Almost 100 Books to be Read in 5 Years

After reading numerous blogs, I have decided to also challenge myself by assigning to myself 100 books to be read in 5 years, depending on availability and cost. The first set of books comes from Africa's Top 100 books as researched by the Zimbabwe Library Foundation . If I should come across interesting translations from Francophone and Lusophone writers, I would read them alongside these. As it stands now, all these writers are from Anglophone countries (except Mahfouz Naguib, from Egypt). Since this list contains mostly the classic, new writers would be read alongside these. Note: All books by the following authors would be read as and when they become available: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie  Books I have read would be italicised; Books I have read and reviewed on this blog would be italicised, crossed and linked; Books from Africa's Top 100 Books by the Zimbabwean Library Foundation: Arrow of God by Chinua Achebe Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe Anowa by Ama


From behind his Window With the gods’ eyes                         Borrowed I caught a glimpse of his Tomorrow And what would next                         Follow In his genes and bone                         Marrow His seeds were on the Floor The room was without a Door And the blank blanket Immature The fowls and the cold were Allured But to the cold his skin was Inured The seeds with the cold Fought But the fowls took a Shot And what was left wasn’t a Tot His last seed was left to Rot But all I could see was a Blankspot  copyright 2007 by Nana Fredua-Agyeman

23. A Bend in the River: V.S. Naipaul (Not so African)

Title: A Bend in the River Author: V.S. Naipaul Publishers: Picador Genre: Novel (Post-Colonial) Pages: 326 Year of First Publication: 1979 (this edition, 2002) Country: United Kingdom APOLOGIES: Until the present post the objective of this blog has been to promote African writers. African in this sense was defined as 'SOMEONE WHO WAS EITHER BORN ON THE CONTINENT OR WHO BECAME A CITIZEN OF AN AFRICAN COUNTRY' either by adoption or naturalisation. It is based on this premise that I did not review Obama's Dreams from my Father  and Kafka's Trial , though I would have loved to. However, I am breaking this rule for just this post. I am doing so because this book has been highly rated and was shortlisted for the 1979 Booker Prize and on the list of many Top 100 novels, including my own Top 100 books to be read in five years . It is also about Africa.  Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul (born 1938) won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2001 and the Booke

I will Dance into the Darkness

I posted a poem titled 'Into the Darkness' yesterday, October 21, 2009. However, just as I was reading it something clicked and I was moved to rewrite it. This is the revised version. After I have searched beyond your haunting eyes behind that pile of smiles through the several turns and bends deeper into your soul I will dance into the darkness After you have pushed through my virginal thoughts coiled within a box of cries brutishly breaking the cranial lid far into my cognitive bed I will dance into darkness Your embrace is no more you flushed with conceit and fiery countenance it would not let me have my space but after I  have   pulled my self from your shadows and my ears from your lips after I have unwound my hoary heart from your clad I would dance silently into the darkness It has been said: only death must do us part but you parted your legs for that bull and suspended your ass so he can swing and scream and swing li

Winners of ImageNations' Book of the Quarter

A poll was conducted for all books that were reviewed on ImageNations from July to September 2009 and which had ratings of 4.5 or higher. In all nine (9) books excluding a book on poetry, Dimples on the Sand , by Henry Ajumeze and a non-fiction political book, Kwame Nkrumah: Vision and Tragedy , by David Rooney were selected. The poll closed today October 16, 2009 at two o'clock GMT. In all there were fourteen votes and Half of a Yellow Sun won with 60% of the votes. This was followed by P urple Hibiscus , which won 21% and Two Thousand Seasons (14%). There were two collection of short stories: The Thing Around Your Neck (7%) and Mr. Happy and the Hammer of God (7%). NOVEL Half of a Yellow Sun is ImageNations' Book of the Quarter. Half of a Yellow Sun is Adichie's second novel following Purple Hibiscus . It tells of the human side of the Biafra war. The novel won the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2007.  Click to read my review of Half of a Yellow Sun . Bri