Sunday, July 6, 2008

Children of Africa

Children from different nations tell their stories in a newly released book, reviewed by The Washington Post.
The parents in Uwem Akpan's first collection of stories, set in present-day Africa, make sacrifices and deals that might seem unimaginable to readers in other parts of the world. After finishing this book, I wandered for days staring at my three daughters and countless nephews and nieces, seeing how fragile and dangerous their lives could easily become in a time of war, starvation, and betrayal.

What if even sacrificing our own lives wasn't enough to ensure the survival of our progeny? That is often the case in Akpan's Africa. These five stories -- set in Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Benin -- are all about children and their perilous, confusing lives, their searches for bits of grace and transcendence along with food, family and survival. This link allows a huge, perplexing continent to be known in intimate ways.


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