Welcome to Lagos

Chibundu Onuzo. Catapult (PGW, dist.), $26 (304p) ISBN 978-1-936787-80-7
In her winning U.S. debut, Onuzo anatomizes a tumultuous city and its inhabitants, from street hustlers to well-connected government ministers. Seeking refuge in the metropolis for various reasons, several Nigerian travelers group up en route to Lagos, including morally upright army deserter Chike; swaggering teenage militant Fineboy; well-to-do Oma, who is fleeing her abusive husband; and a precocious but traumatized girl, Isoken. These characters form a family of sorts as they are welcomed to Lagos coolly, obliged to live in a homeless encampment before settling in an unoccupied house. There they encounter someone desperately trying to leave Lagos: an education minister who has gone into hiding with $10 million meant for Nigeria’s schools. What to do with the minister, and more important, with his money? Onuzo’s representation of Lagos as “a carnivore of a city that swallowed even bones” is often unromantic, but she also criticizes how the city is represented, or misrepresented, by Westerners: “Scandal, murder, intrigue. Quintessential African politics,” thinks one BBC correspondent covering the minister’s story. Onuzo’s briskly plotted novel is a rewarding exploration of the limits of idealism and transparency against widespread cynicism and corruption. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/05/2018
Release date: 05/01/2018
Genre: Fiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-68441-314-0
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-936787-81-4
MP3 CD - 978-1-6651-3602-0
Compact Disc - 978-1-6651-3603-7
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-1-948226-21-9
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-9871-4522-9
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