Saturday, June 25, 2022

Month: August 2021


Everyone wished for a visitation from Ituofia. There was no problem he could not solve if you were blessed enough by the gods for him to visit you. He had once visited Ezeugbo the Beggar and by the next harvest, Ezeugbo owned three huts and was about to marry a second wife. Everyone knew of Elioka the Pawpaw. She was the village’s oldest spinster. Her age-mates were already having their fourth or fifth children by the time Ituofia went into her hut. Within three months three men had killed themselves over her hand in marriage. The marriage ceremony was the loudest the village had ever had.


It was surprising and mildly heartbreaking to watch her Obiefuna lose all his baby charm by the time he was older and become a reserved, reticent child, saying very little, hardly complaining even when under visible strain, and unconsciously relegating authority to the more troublesome, vocal Ekene. Obiefuna had filed out to become odd and worryingly quiet and, more distressing, a source of irritation to Anozie.

Man’s Smother Beneath Fate: A Literary Review of Chigozie Obioma’s An Orchestra of Minorities

His debut novel, The Fisherman, a contemporary lyrical ‘retelling’ of the tale of the Biblical Cain and Abel, has bought many critical recognitions to itself:  finalist of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 2015; winner of the FT/OPPENHEIMER emerging voices prize for fiction; winner of the 2016 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Debut Literary Work; winner of the Nebraska book award 2016-fiction category. The ‘heir to Chinua Achebe’ as has been called by a New York Times magazine heightens and garnishes the infusion of Igbo mythology in fiction with the publication of his second magical realistic work, An Orchestra of Minorities, which, no doubt, will magnet to itself critical readings, studies and awards; already a shortlisted narrative for best Translated Fiction for Winter 2020 in France.