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Publisher's Summary

Uwem Akpan's stunning stories humanize the perils of poverty and violence so piercingly that few listeners will feel they've ever encountered Africa so immediately.The eight-year-old narrator of "An Ex-Mas Feast" needs only enough money to buy books and pay fees in order to attend school. Even when his 12-year-old sister takes to the streets to raise these meager funds, his dream can't be granted. Food comes first. His family lives in a street shanty in Nairobi, Kenya, but their way of both loving and taking advantage of each other strikes a universal chord. In the second of his stories published in a New Yorker special fiction issue, Akpan takes us far beyond what we thought we knew about the tribal conflict in Rwanda. The story is told by a young girl, who, with her little brother, witnesses the worst possible scenario between parents. They are asked to do the previously unimaginable in order to protect their children.This singular collection will also take the reader inside Nigeria, Benin, and Ethiopia, revealing in beautiful prose the harsh consequences for children of life in Africa.Akpan's voice is a literary miracle, rendering lives of almost unimaginable deprivation and terror into stories that are nothing short of transcendent.
©2008 Uwem Akpan; (P)2008 Hachette Audio
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Critic Reviews

"All the promise and heartbreak of Africa today are brilliantly illuminated in this debut collection." (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Roy on 08-13-09

Beautiful Disturbing Prose

Uwem Akpan writes in dialect and the Audible reading is exceptional as the reader is taken into the African world through short stories. Muslim violence in Northern Nigeria is related in a most compelling way. The most powerful story concerns the killing of a mother in front of her only child - who relates the story.

Anyone with an interest in Africa, good story telling, or the plight of children will benefit by these stories. Those just interested in great prose will not be disappointed either.

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12 of 13 people found this review helpful


By Caro on 09-19-09

But it is an abridged version

This is an incredible book in every way, but be sure to note that this audible download, disappointingly, is "Unabridged Selections" and not the entire book. Apparently, an audio version of the entire book is not available at the time I am writing this.

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9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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