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Say You're One of Them (Oprah #63)

by

Say You're One of Them (Oprah #63) Cover

ISBN13: 9780316086370
ISBN10: 0316086371
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Each story in this jubilantly acclaimed collection pays testament to the wisdom and resilience of children, even in the face of the most agonizing circumstances.

A family living in a makeshift shanty in urban Kenya scurries to find gifts of any kind for the impending Christmas holiday. A Rwandan girl relates her family's struggles to maintain a facade of normalcy amid unspeakable acts. A young brother and sister cope with their uncle's attempt to sell them into slavery. Aboard a bus filled with refugees — a microcosm of today's Africa — a Muslim boy summons his faith to bear a treacherous ride across Nigeria. Through the eyes of childhood friends the emotional toll of religious conflict in Ethiopia becomes viscerally clear.

Uwem Akpan's debut signals the arrival of a breathtakingly talented writer who gives a matter-of-fact reality to the most extreme circumstances in stories that are nothing short of transcendent.

Review:

"Nigerian-born Jesuit priest Akpan transports the reader into gritty scenes of chaos and fear in his rich debut collection of five long stories set in war-torn Africa. 'An Ex-mas Feast' tells the heartbreaking story of eight-year-old Jigana, a Kenyan boy whose 12-year-old sister, Maisha, works as a prostitute to support her family. Jigana's mother quells the children's hunger by having them sniff glue while they wait for Maisha to earn enough to bring home a holiday meal. In 'Luxurious Hearses,' Jubril, a teenage Muslim, flees the violence in northern Nigeria. Attacked by his own Muslim neighbors, his only way out is on a bus transporting Christians to the south. In 'Fattening for Gabon,' 10-year-old Kotchikpa and his younger sister are sent by their sick parents to live with their uncle, Fofo Kpee, who in turn explains to the children that they are going to live with their prosperous 'godparents,' who, as Kotchikpa pieces together, are actually human traffickers. Akpan's prose is beautiful and his stories are insightful and revealing, made even more harrowing because all the horror — and there is much — is seen through the eyes of children." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Haunting prose. Unrelenting horror. An almost unreadable must-read." Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Review:

"[A] startling debut collection....[Akpan] fuses a knowledge of African poverty and strife with a conspicuously literary approach to storytelling, filtering tales of horror through the wide eyes of the young." Janet Maslin, New York Times

Review:

"All the promise and heartbreak of Africa today are brilliantly illuminated in this debut collection." Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Review:

"African writer and Jesuit priest Uwem Akpan depicts the plight of African children with the kind of restraint only possible when an author fully inhabits his characters — he manages to be empathetic without being condescending." The Village Voice

Synopsis:

A moving debut story collection centered on Nigerian women, as they build lives out of longing and hope, faith and doubt, the struggle to stay and the mandate to leave, and the burden and strength of love.

Synopsis:

"Astonishing. Okparantas narrators render their stories with such strength and intimacy, such lucidity and composure, that in each and every case the truths of their lives detonate deep inside the readers heart, with the power and force of revelation."—Paul Harding

Here are Nigerian women at home and transplanted to the United States, building lives out of longing and hope, faith and doubt, the struggle to stay and the mandate to leave, the burden and strength of love. Here are characters faced with dangerous decisions, children slick with oil from the river, a woman in love with another despite the penalties. Here is a world marked by electricity outages, lush landscapes, folktales, buses that break down and never start up again. Here is a portrait of Nigerians that is surprising, shocking, heartrending, loving, and across social strata, dealing in every kind of change. Here are stories filled with language to make your eyes pause and your throat catch. Happiness, Like Water introduces a true talent, a young writer with a beautiful heart and a capacious imagination.

"Intricate, graceful prose propels Okparantas profoundly moving and illuminating book. I devoured these stories and immediately wanted more. This is an arrival."—NoViolet Bulawayo

"Okparanta's prose is tender, beautiful and evocative. These powerful stories of contemporary Nigeria are told with compassion and a certain sense of humor. What a remarkable new talent."—Chika Unigwe

"A haunting and startlingly original collection of short stories about the lives of Nigerians both at home and in America. Happiness, Like Water is a deeply affecting literary debut, the work of a sure and gifted new writer."—Julie Otsuka

About the Author

Uwem Akpan was born in Ikot Akpan Eda in southern Nigeria. After studying philosophy and English at Creighton and Gonzaga universities, he studied theology for three years at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa. He was ordained as a Jesuit priest in 2003 and received his MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan in 2006. "My Parents' Bedroom," a story from his short story collection, Say You're One of Them, was one of five short stories by African writers chosen as finalists for The Caine Prize for African Writing 2007. Say You're One of Them won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book (Africa Region) 2009 and PEN/Beyond Margins Award 2009, and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction. In 2007, Akpan taught at a Jesuit college in Harare, Zimbabwe. Now he serves at Christ the King Church, Ilasamaja-Lagos, Nigeria.

Table of Contents

Contents
 
On Ohaeto Street 1

Wahala! 21

Fairness 35

Story, Story! 47

Runs Girl 67

America 85

Shelter 109

Grace 123

Designs 153

Tumours and Butterflies 169

Acknowledgements 199

What Our Readers Are Saying

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

NETSICLE, January 2, 2010 (view all comments by NETSICLE)
Brings awareness of the other side of the world and what's happening to children.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(4 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780316086370
Author:
Akpan, Uwem
Publisher:
Back Bay Books
Author:
Okparanta, Chinelo
Subject:
Literature
Subject:
Children -- Africa.
Subject:
War victims
Subject:
Short Stories (single author)
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Children; Families; Family relationships; African culture; Child prostitution; Muslims; Teenage boys; Violence; Human trafficking; Poverty; Homeless; Refugees; Religious conflict
Subject:
Stories (single author)
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Cloth
Series:
Oprah's Book Club
Publication Date:
20090918
Binding:
Paperback
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
8 x 5.31 in 0.38 lb

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Related Subjects


Featured Titles » Literature
Featured Titles » Miscellaneous Award Winners
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Africa
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Sale Books

Say You're One of Them (Oprah #63) Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.95 In Stock
Product details 384 pages Little, Brown and Company - English 9780316086370 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Nigerian-born Jesuit priest Akpan transports the reader into gritty scenes of chaos and fear in his rich debut collection of five long stories set in war-torn Africa. 'An Ex-mas Feast' tells the heartbreaking story of eight-year-old Jigana, a Kenyan boy whose 12-year-old sister, Maisha, works as a prostitute to support her family. Jigana's mother quells the children's hunger by having them sniff glue while they wait for Maisha to earn enough to bring home a holiday meal. In 'Luxurious Hearses,' Jubril, a teenage Muslim, flees the violence in northern Nigeria. Attacked by his own Muslim neighbors, his only way out is on a bus transporting Christians to the south. In 'Fattening for Gabon,' 10-year-old Kotchikpa and his younger sister are sent by their sick parents to live with their uncle, Fofo Kpee, who in turn explains to the children that they are going to live with their prosperous 'godparents,' who, as Kotchikpa pieces together, are actually human traffickers. Akpan's prose is beautiful and his stories are insightful and revealing, made even more harrowing because all the horror — and there is much — is seen through the eyes of children." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Haunting prose. Unrelenting horror. An almost unreadable must-read."
"Review" by , "[A] startling debut collection....[Akpan] fuses a knowledge of African poverty and strife with a conspicuously literary approach to storytelling, filtering tales of horror through the wide eyes of the young."
"Review" by , "All the promise and heartbreak of Africa today are brilliantly illuminated in this debut collection."
"Review" by , "African writer and Jesuit priest Uwem Akpan depicts the plight of African children with the kind of restraint only possible when an author fully inhabits his characters — he manages to be empathetic without being condescending."
"Synopsis" by , A moving debut story collection centered on Nigerian women, as they build lives out of longing and hope, faith and doubt, the struggle to stay and the mandate to leave, and the burden and strength of love.
"Synopsis" by ,
"Astonishing. Okparantas narrators render their stories with such strength and intimacy, such lucidity and composure, that in each and every case the truths of their lives detonate deep inside the readers heart, with the power and force of revelation."—Paul Harding

Here are Nigerian women at home and transplanted to the United States, building lives out of longing and hope, faith and doubt, the struggle to stay and the mandate to leave, the burden and strength of love. Here are characters faced with dangerous decisions, children slick with oil from the river, a woman in love with another despite the penalties. Here is a world marked by electricity outages, lush landscapes, folktales, buses that break down and never start up again. Here is a portrait of Nigerians that is surprising, shocking, heartrending, loving, and across social strata, dealing in every kind of change. Here are stories filled with language to make your eyes pause and your throat catch. Happiness, Like Water introduces a true talent, a young writer with a beautiful heart and a capacious imagination.

"Intricate, graceful prose propels Okparantas profoundly moving and illuminating book. I devoured these stories and immediately wanted more. This is an arrival."—NoViolet Bulawayo

"Okparanta's prose is tender, beautiful and evocative. These powerful stories of contemporary Nigeria are told with compassion and a certain sense of humor. What a remarkable new talent."—Chika Unigwe

"A haunting and startlingly original collection of short stories about the lives of Nigerians both at home and in America. Happiness, Like Water is a deeply affecting literary debut, the work of a sure and gifted new writer."—Julie Otsuka

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