The Fictioning Horror Sale
 
 

Recently Viewed clear list


Original Essays | September 4, 2014

Edward E. Baptist: IMG The Two Bodies of The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism



My new book, The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism, is the story of two bodies. The first body was the new... Continue »
  1. $24.50 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$14.95
New Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Available for In-store Pickup
in 7 to 12 days
Qty Store Section
2 Remote Warehouse Literature- A to Z
9 Remote Warehouse Literature- A to Z

Becoming Abigail: A Novel

by

Becoming Abigail: A Novel Cover

ISBN13: 9781888451948
ISBN10: 1888451947
All Product Details

 

Review-A-Day

"[R]ich with suffering. In 34 brief and lyrical chapters, Abani sketches the life of Abigail Tansi, a 14-year-old Igbo girl. It is abjectly Hobbesian: solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short....In Becoming Abigail, such profoundly empathetic moments are rare. We are like Abigail's social worker, touching her body in the darkness, feeling her burns and scars, wondering what shape they would make if they could only be connected." Nathan Ihara, LA Weekly (read the entire LA Weekly review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Tough, spirited, and fiercely independent Abigail is brought as a teenager to London from Nigeria by relatives who attempt to force her into prostitution. She flees, struggling to find herself in the shadow of a strong but dead mother. In spare yet haunting and lyrical prose reminiscent of Marguerite Duras, Abani brings to life a young woman who lives with a strength and inner light that will enlighten and uplift the reader.

Review:

"Abani follows up GraceLand, his PEN/Faulkner Award-winning boy's coming-of-age novel, with a searing girl's coming-of-age novella in which a troubled Nigerian teen is threatened with becoming human trade. Abigail's mother died giving birth to her, leaving her, as she grows, with a crippling guilt that drives her to bizarre childhood mourning rituals and, later, with the responsibility of caring for her chronically depressed father. Repeated sexual violations by male relatives and the self-imposed expectation that she live up to her idealized image of her mother create unbearable pain and contradiction. When, at the halfway point of the book, Abigail's father sends her, at age 15 , to live with her cousin-by-marriage, Peter, in London, it's as much to free her from him as to give her more opportunities. But once she arrives, her 'cousin' proves malevolent, and her dehumanization begins. Recalling Lucas Moodyson's crushing Lilya4Ever, this portrait of a brutalized girl given no control over her life or body, features Abani's lyrical prose (Abigail's father's armchair 'smelled of the dreams of everyone who had sat in it') and deft moves between short chapters titled 'Then' and 'Now' — with the latter offering little promise." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"This is a powerful, harrowing work, made more so because, while much of the narrative seems to be a vortex of affliction, Abigail's destiny is not inevitable." Sam Lipsyte, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Spare, haunting vignettes of exquisite delicacy....Abani tells a strong young woman's story with graphic empathy." Booklist

Review:

"[L]yrical yet devastating....Abani's abundant talent is clearly evident throughout, as is his willingness to be brutally honest without being grotesque....Recommended." Library Journal

Review:

"Compelling and gorgeously written, this is a coming-of-age novella like no other. Chris Abani explores the depths of loss and exploitation with what can only be described as a knowing tenderness. An extraordinary, necessary book." Cristina Garcia, author of Dreaming in Cuban

Review:

"Abani's voice brings perspective to every moment, turning pain into a beautiful painterly meditation on loss and aloneness." Aimee Bender, author of The Girl in the Flammable Skirt

Review:

"Abani's empathy for Abigail's torn life is matched only by his honesty in portraying it. Nothing at all is held back. A harrowing piece of work." Peter Orner, author of Esther Stories

Synopsis:

A breathtaking new novella from the award-winning author of GraceLand

Synopsis:

"Compelling and gorgeously written, this is a coming-of-age novella like no other. Chris Abani explores the depths of loss and exploitation with what can only be described as a knowing tenderness. An extraordinary, necessary book."—Cristina Garcia, author of Dreaming in Cuban

"Abani's voice brings perspective to every moment, turning pain into a beautiful painterly meditation on loss and aloneness."—Aimee Bender, author of The Girl in the Flammable Skirt

“Abani's empathy for Abigail's torn life is matched only by his honesty in portraying it. Nothing at all is held back. A harrowing piece of work.”—Peter Orner, author of The Esther Stories

Tough, spirited, and fiercely independent Abigail is brought as a teenager to London from Nigeria by relatives who attempt to force her into prostitution. She flees, struggling to find herself in the shadow of a strong but dead mother. In spare yet haunting and lyrical prose reminiscent of Marguerite Duras, Abani brings to life a young woman who lives with a strength and inner light that will enlighten and uplift the reader.

Chris Abani is a poet and novelist and the author, most recently, of GraceLand, which won the 2005 PEN/Hemingway Prize, a Silver Medal in the California Book Awards, and was a finalist for several other prizes including the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His other prizes include a PEN Freedom-to-Write Award, a Prince Claus Award, and a Lannan Literary Fellowship. He lives and teaches in California.

About the Author

Chris Abani is a poet and novelist and the author most recently of GraceLand, which won the 2005 Hemingway/PEN Prize, a Silver Medal in the California Book Awards, and was a finalist for several other prizes including the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His other prizes include a PEN Freedom-to-Write Award, a Prince Claus Award, and a Lannan Literary Fellowship. He lives and teaches in California. For more information visit www.ChrisAbani.com.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Maria Jett, February 15, 2007 (view all comments by Maria Jett)
Infinite sensitivity and patience pervade this slim volume, giving the impression of an author pregnant with protagonist — nurturing, knowing, overflowing. Abani's apparent desire to shelter Abigail is surpassed only by the need to make her story known. Spare and powerful, this masterfully crafted novella takes only a few hours to read, but delivers a coming-of-age story like none you've encountered before.

Abigail's mother (also Abigail) dies in childbirth, leaving behind a hole that's far too large for a child to fill. Out of her circumstances, Abani crafts a stunning portrait of strength and innocence, using exploitation as a starting point for meditations on loss, memory, empathy, endurance and transcendence. Though Abigail is surrounded by evil, Abani ensures that the horrors remain secondary to her spiritual self, never allowing evil to take over the pages. The girl is a victim, yet the spirit of the collective "Abigail," and finally the strength the girl finds within herself as an adolescent, dominate the text and leave readers filled with an uncertain, yet undeniable belief in the power of the female being. (Originally published by World Pulse Media)
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(6 of 12 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9781888451948
Author:
Abani, Christopher
Publisher:
Akashic Books
Author:
Abani, Chris
Subject:
General
Subject:
Teenagers
Subject:
Prostitution
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Literary
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
April 2006
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
120
Dimensions:
8.2 x 5.2 x 0.4 in 5 oz

Other books you might like

  1. Graceland
    Used Trade Paper $5.50
  2. Dreaming in Cuban Used Trade Paper $3.50
  3. I Say a Little Prayer Used Hardcover $9.95
  4. Song for Night
    New Trade Paper $12.95
  5. When We Were Orphans Used Mass Market $4.95
  6. The Dew Breaker Used Trade Paper $6.50

Related Subjects

» Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
» Metaphysics » General

Becoming Abigail: A Novel New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$14.95 In Stock
Product details 120 pages Akashic Books - English 9781888451948 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Abani follows up GraceLand, his PEN/Faulkner Award-winning boy's coming-of-age novel, with a searing girl's coming-of-age novella in which a troubled Nigerian teen is threatened with becoming human trade. Abigail's mother died giving birth to her, leaving her, as she grows, with a crippling guilt that drives her to bizarre childhood mourning rituals and, later, with the responsibility of caring for her chronically depressed father. Repeated sexual violations by male relatives and the self-imposed expectation that she live up to her idealized image of her mother create unbearable pain and contradiction. When, at the halfway point of the book, Abigail's father sends her, at age 15 , to live with her cousin-by-marriage, Peter, in London, it's as much to free her from him as to give her more opportunities. But once she arrives, her 'cousin' proves malevolent, and her dehumanization begins. Recalling Lucas Moodyson's crushing Lilya4Ever, this portrait of a brutalized girl given no control over her life or body, features Abani's lyrical prose (Abigail's father's armchair 'smelled of the dreams of everyone who had sat in it') and deft moves between short chapters titled 'Then' and 'Now' — with the latter offering little promise." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "[R]ich with suffering. In 34 brief and lyrical chapters, Abani sketches the life of Abigail Tansi, a 14-year-old Igbo girl. It is abjectly Hobbesian: solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short....In Becoming Abigail, such profoundly empathetic moments are rare. We are like Abigail's social worker, touching her body in the darkness, feeling her burns and scars, wondering what shape they would make if they could only be connected." (read the entire LA Weekly review)
"Review" by , "This is a powerful, harrowing work, made more so because, while much of the narrative seems to be a vortex of affliction, Abigail's destiny is not inevitable."
"Review" by , "Spare, haunting vignettes of exquisite delicacy....Abani tells a strong young woman's story with graphic empathy."
"Review" by , "[L]yrical yet devastating....Abani's abundant talent is clearly evident throughout, as is his willingness to be brutally honest without being grotesque....Recommended."
"Review" by , "Compelling and gorgeously written, this is a coming-of-age novella like no other. Chris Abani explores the depths of loss and exploitation with what can only be described as a knowing tenderness. An extraordinary, necessary book."
"Review" by , "Abani's voice brings perspective to every moment, turning pain into a beautiful painterly meditation on loss and aloneness."
"Review" by , "Abani's empathy for Abigail's torn life is matched only by his honesty in portraying it. Nothing at all is held back. A harrowing piece of work."
"Synopsis" by ,
A breathtaking new novella from the award-winning author of GraceLand
"Synopsis" by ,

"Compelling and gorgeously written, this is a coming-of-age novella like no other. Chris Abani explores the depths of loss and exploitation with what can only be described as a knowing tenderness. An extraordinary, necessary book."—Cristina Garcia, author of Dreaming in Cuban

"Abani's voice brings perspective to every moment, turning pain into a beautiful painterly meditation on loss and aloneness."—Aimee Bender, author of The Girl in the Flammable Skirt

“Abani's empathy for Abigail's torn life is matched only by his honesty in portraying it. Nothing at all is held back. A harrowing piece of work.”—Peter Orner, author of The Esther Stories

Tough, spirited, and fiercely independent Abigail is brought as a teenager to London from Nigeria by relatives who attempt to force her into prostitution. She flees, struggling to find herself in the shadow of a strong but dead mother. In spare yet haunting and lyrical prose reminiscent of Marguerite Duras, Abani brings to life a young woman who lives with a strength and inner light that will enlighten and uplift the reader.

Chris Abani is a poet and novelist and the author, most recently, of GraceLand, which won the 2005 PEN/Hemingway Prize, a Silver Medal in the California Book Awards, and was a finalist for several other prizes including the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His other prizes include a PEN Freedom-to-Write Award, a Prince Claus Award, and a Lannan Literary Fellowship. He lives and teaches in California.

spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.