In the book bar, you will find a short review of an african book we liked.
The Fishermen is a magnificent debut novel by the Nigerian author CHIGOZIE OBIOMA. The novel is set in the town of Akure in South-western Nigeria in the 90’s during the years of the military dictatorship of Gen. Sani Abacha. The story revolves around an Igbo family and its adaptation in living in a Yoruba land through the eyes of the young Benjamin Agwu, who’s the fourth of the six children of the family. The book opens with the departure of the father from the family home, which acts as a trigger and sets in motion a chain of tragic and unexpected events amongst which a prophecy from Abulu the madman, which is a major turning point in the life of the family .
With a masterful and controlled style, OBIOMA tackles various themes such as the status of mental illness in Africa and how to deal with it when children are involved, the struggle between Christianity and indigenous (African/Igbo) beliefs. Should the belief in the former necessarily exclude the later? The author also challenges the notion of the “innocence” of children.
Published in 2015, The Fishermen had a great reception from the public and was shortlisted for the prestigious Man Booker prize 2015.