Synopses & Reviews
Chika Unigwe is the winner of the 2012 Nigeria Prize for Literature for On Black Sisters Street.
On Black Sisters Street tells the haunting story of four very different women who have left their African homeland for the riches of Europeand who are thrown together by bad luck and big dreams into a sisterhood that will change their lives. Each night, Sisi, Ama, Efe, and Joyce stand in the windows of Antwerps red-light district, promising to make mens desires come trueif only for half an hour. They offer their bodies to strangers but their hearts to no one, each focused on earning enough to get herself free, to send money home, or to save up for her own future. Drawn together by Sisis murder, the women must choose between their secrets and their safety.
This first paperback edition of On Black Sisters Street celebrates once again the U.S. publication debut of Chika Unigwe, a brilliant new writer and a standout voice among contemporary African authors.
Boiling with a sly, generous humor
On Black Sisters Street
marks the arrival of a latter-day Thackeray, an Afro-Belgian writer who probes with passion, grace and comic verve the underbelly of our globalized new world economy.”
New York Times Book Review
Unigwes gripping tale chronicles the lives of four African women working as prostitutes in Antwerps red-light district.
As Unigwe tells her characters stories in interweaving narratives and time lines, the women embody depths of fear and displacement, as well as the will to survive and prosper.”
This spellbinding novel
combines a storytellers narrative flair with a reporters eye for grim, gritty details about the sex industry.
Unigwe crafts her characters voices with crystalline prose and compassion, in a revelatory work as tough, humane and unsentimental as its heroines.”
Caryn James, More Magazine
In her English-language debut, the Nigerian-born Unigwe convincingly exposes an unfamiliar world without sentimentality.”
Unigwe has a talent for capturing the dashed dreams of young women who are stronger than they imagine.
(T)he womens personal stories are wrenchingly memorable.”
The authors raw voice, unflinching eye for detail, facility for creating a complex narrative, and affection for her characters make this a must read.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review
About the Author
Chika Unigwe was born in Nigeria and now lives in Belgium with fellow and a 2009 Rockefeller Foundation fellow. She holds a PhD from the University of Leiden. She is the recipient of several awards for her writing, including first prize in the 2003 BBC Short Story Competition. In 2004 she was shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing. Her first novel, De Feniks, was published in Dutch in 2005.