Orimili

Amechi Akwanga, Author, Amechi Akwanya, Author, Akwanga, Author Heinemann Educational Books $8.95 (186p) ISBN 978-0-435-90670-2
Orimili lives in the Caribbean town of Okocha, where, despite his material success, p. 84 he is ``not assimilated as a full citizen'' and where ``no one was ever known to have grown out of the secondary status of a naturalisedstet spelling citizen into the privileges of ordinary citizenship.'' As Akwanya reveals the complicated web of social structures of kinship and rank in Okocha, it becomes apparent that Orimili can secure his status and deepen his roots in Okocha in two ways: the first is to become a member of the ozo , the ruling association of wealthy men; the second is to arrange the marriage of his son, Osita, to Adoba, the daughter of a friend who is an established townsman. But despite his elaborate machinations and adherence to custom and ritual, Orimili fails on both counts. The tale ends with him longing to know what his grandfather's face looked like, for all along it has been his lack of an ancestral past that has prevented Orimili from gaining acceptance. This novel provides an educational view into a Caribbean society, but the stilted, formal, almost archaic English is a barrier to enjoyment. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/29/1991
Release date: 05/01/1991
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