I Saw the Sky Catch Fire

T. Obinkaram Echewa, Author, O. T. Echewa, Author Dutton Books $20 (336p) ISBN 978-0-525-93398-4
The struggles of women lie at the heart of Echewa's ( The Crippled Dancer ) remarkable new novel, a work that demonstrates the author's exceptional sensitivity to feminine issues. The narrative is composed mainly of stories told to Ajuziogu by his grandmother Nne-nne on the night before he leaves his Nigerian village for college in the U.S. Nne-nne echoes the role of Scheherazade, trying to hold back the dawn and her grandson's inevitable departure. Centering on a real event, the 1929 Women's War, in which the women of Nigeria revolted against the British rulers, Nne-nne's stories have an urgency and poignancy that forcefully propel the narrative. Eventually, the night ends and Ajuziogu departs for America, leaving Nne-nne, wife Stella and small child behind. Five years later, summoned by his dying grandmother, he finds his wife pregnant with another man's baby. Angry, his pride wounded, Ajuziogu intends to divorce Stella and return to America, but through the intercession of Nne-nne and his mother-in-law and through the resolve of Stella herself, a reconciliation is effected. Ajuziogu will remain in his village. Another women's war has been won. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1992
Release date: 01/01/1992
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