cover image Let’s Tell This Story Properly

Let’s Tell This Story Properly

Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi. Transit, $16.95 trade paper (294p) ISBN 978-1-945492-22-8

Makumbi (Kintu) captures the struggles of economic uncertainty and assimilation for Ugandans in Britain across decades in this adept collection. In “Our Allies the Colonies,” Abbey, an immigrant lured to England during WWII by army recruitment posters, fathers a son with a white woman who puts him up for adoption without informing Abbey. In “Manchester Happened,” Nnambassa remembers her difficult immigration to Manchester and the arrival of her 14-year-old sister, Katassi, five years later in 1993. Katassi’s teenage entitlement causes a painful estrangement that not even their father’s terminal diagnosis decades later can bridge. In the title story, Nnam returns her dead husband’s body to Uganda, only to learn he had continued to father children with the wife she thought he had abandoned. In “Love Made in Manchester,” 15-year-old Masaaba shocks his British mom and Ugandan father by following through with his online boast about returning to Uganda to take part in the traditional circumcision ceremony. Readers will savor Makumbi’s explorations of characters caught between Uganda and England and the cultural forces of immigration, making for a thoughtful, eloquent collection.[em] (Apr.) [/em]