News from Home: Stories

Sefi Atta, Interlink, $15 paper (296p) ISBN 978-1-56656-803-6
Atta (Everything Good Will Come) demonstrates a fresh, vital voice in these 11 stories that move fluidly between pampered Nigerian émigrés and villagers grinding out a meager subsistence. Atta's characters are irrepressible, beginning with Makinde in "The Miracle Worker," an honest Lagotian mechanic who charges admission to view the vision his born-again Christian wife claims to have seen in a dusty windscreen in his car lot. He foolishly loses the money and is harshly humbled—to his wife's great satisfaction. The Muslim wife in the chilling "Hailstones on Zamfara"—having been married at 14, excluded from school, and now rendered near-deaf by her drunken husband's beatings—finds a short-lived sense of vindication following her husband taking another wife. Elsewhere, Atta pursues how privileged Nigerians fare abroad, such as the young graduate in "A Temporary Position," who applies his irreverence for the law to his first job, and the New Jersey nanny in "News from Home," who is torn by loyalty and her desire to practice her profession as a nurse. Atta movingly portrays these conflicted lives and gorgeously renders a wide spectrum of humanity and experience. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/10/2010
Release date: 04/01/2010
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 295 pages - 978-0-9541570-4-3
Open Ebook - 220 pages - 978-1-62371-009-5
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