by Teju Cole - £8.99 Faber & Faber (2015)
paperback ISBN 13: 9780571307944 | ISBN 10: 0571307949
A young man returns to Nigeria after fifteen years in New York. Like him, his childhood country has grown up quickly: found fast-food restaurants, email cafés, contempt for authority; the all-consuming draw of money for nothing.
From the consulate in Manhattan to the dusty streets of Lagos, life in modern Nigeria runs like clockwork - as long as you pay the fee. A bribe for the visa clerk, a 'Christmas gift' at immigration, cash - no receipt - at the unofficial tollbooth. Petrol pumps are rigged to overcharge and internet cafés overflow with career scammers, but the police are too busy doling out bogus fines to care. In a country routinely plundered of its oil and ancient treasures, who is to say who can thieve and who can't?
As our narrator makes the difficult journey back to his family house and its memories, he is confronted by the paradox of a country he wants to love, as burdened by its impoverished past as it is blinded by the spoils of the future.
(Price & availability last checked: January 2015)
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In booklists: World Fiction - Africa, Writers by Surname - C, Fiction - Black American and Canadian Writers, World Fiction - Nigeria, In categories: Fiction, World - Africa, Black, Asian & Other Diasporas,