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The Abyssinian Boy by Onyeka Nwelue

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The Abyssinian Boy by Onyeka Nwelue
FICTION Rajaswamy Rajagopalan, a South Indian Tamil Brahmin essayist, is totally in love and happy with his East Nigerian Christian wife, Eunice Onwubiko. But there is a threat to their nine year-old marriage. On a trip to Nigeria from India, David- their only son travels in dreams with an albino dwarf, Nfanfa. A brain illness develops in David and this (alongside the mass deportation of Indians from Nigeria ) set the two families- Rajagopalan and Onwubiko crashing in their faiths as they battle differently to keep alive, the chord that holds them together. Onyeka Nwelue traveled extensively through Asia at the age of 18, spending 6 months in India to research his first novel. He has received a grant from the Institute for Research on African Women, Children and Culture (IRAWCC) and is a contributing reviewer of Farafina magazine. In 2004, he was described in the Guardian as a 'teenager with a steaming pen'. His writings have appeared in The Sun, Wild Goose Poetry Review, Kafla Inter-Continental and the Guardian. He was a guest writer at the Hong Kong International Literary Festival in March 2010. ?The Abyssinian Boy teems with people and issues and sights and smells and conflicts and resolutions, rejects and privileged, losers and victors, black, brown and white. It's a multicoloured story. The Abyssinian Boy is essentially a Nigerian interpretation of a contemporary story of India. The book is filled with perpetual storytelling, a form that's practiced by the British-Indian writer Salman Rushdie and used extensively in Akin Adesokan's Roots in the Sky and Okey Ndibe's Arrows of the Rain. One story being told leads to another shorter story and then this breaks into several stories and we are back to the main narrative, like solo takes in jazz music. The Abyssinian Boy attempts to do for New Delhi, aspects of what Rushdie's Midnight's Children did for Bombay.? - Toyin Akinosho, literary critic & publisher, Africa Oil and Gas Report "Onyeka has written an ambitious novel which blurs not only geographical lines but other lines too. It reminds us (or ought to) that what unites us, our humanity, is much more than those that seek to divide us" -Chika Unigwe, author of The Phoenix ??Promising.? -Shobhaa De. ?The surface of The Abyssinian Boy pulsates with Indian and Nigerian ethos. The reader wonders whether the novel portrays the meaninglessness of racist criminality and parochial sentiments that run in the baser levels of any man's consciousness. The story spans two continents, two cultures and two traditions. There is also the conflict of races as well as their synthesis. For a person so young in years, such understanding of the Indian ethos is remarkable, to say the least. The sights, colours and the motifs of India come alive throughout the pages, though etched, at times, in harmlessly irreverent verbiage. The Nigerian ethos of the present is also depicted in short, but stark detail.? - Vani Nethiar
Posted by DADA books on August 17, 2010 Full Size| Slideshow

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1 Comment

Reply Emmanuel Elem
11:26 PM on August 26, 2012 
This is really wonderful. It's commendable.