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A Rainy Season
     

A Rainy Season

4.0 1
by Nnaziri Ihejirika
 

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It is the rainy season of 1998. An autocratic and corrupt ruler has just died in the arms of courtesans at the presidential villa leaving one hundred million citizens of Africa's most populous country in comingled states of joy, grief and uncertainty.

Through the eyes of eight fictional characters, A Rainy Season tells the story of Nigeria's latest journey to

Overview

It is the rainy season of 1998. An autocratic and corrupt ruler has just died in the arms of courtesans at the presidential villa leaving one hundred million citizens of Africa's most populous country in comingled states of joy, grief and uncertainty.

Through the eyes of eight fictional characters, A Rainy Season tells the story of Nigeria's latest journey to democracy. Hamed, the government contractor. Ekei, the desperate fashionista. Jude, the underground radical. Kurdi, the womanizing pastor. Tamara, the ambitious divorcee. Elechi, the inquisitive schoolboy. Mutiu, the disillusioned guard. Nonye, the blossoming idealist. The sprawling metropolis of Lagos is the junction where their stories intersect. In this most chaotic of cities, they are as divided by ethnicity, religion, gender and social class as they are united by a desire to survive at any cost.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
2014-09-24
In Ihejirika's multifaceted debut novel, the death of a dictator shakes up the denizens of an apartment complex in Lagos, Nigeria.It's June 1998, and Sani Abacha, the "dark-goggled" leader of Nigeria's military dictatorship, has died. That event has consequences for the inhabitants of the apartments at 1998 New Nigeria Road. They represent the diverse ethnic, religious and economic groups within their country and have either benefited or suffered under Abacha's regime. Now, these businessmen, criminals, students, servants, spouses and mistresses must each evaluate the personal ramifications of the power shift as democracy threatens to overturn the status quo. As eight narrators tell their tales of survival in a corrupt system, readers are treated to the recent history of Africa's most populous nation. The stories focus on the trials of attempting to do right by one's people, one's family and oneself. In one tale, a pimp of high-end escorts wonders if the incoming government's ministers will have the same taste for companionship as those of the old. In another, a conflicted public relations wizard, thrilled at the promise of a new order, may have to flee the country because of the work he did for the previous one. Ihejirika masterfully presents the complex systems of patronage, exploitation and outright theft that exist at all levels of society. He illustrates his characters' harsh pragmatism with sympathetic exactness even as he continually reminds readers of the idealism that lies dormant within them. The prose does have a distracting fondness for American idioms, and earlier chapters sometimes feel bogged down by exposition. The casual style of narration also works against the tension of some storylines. Ihejirika often relies on concluding twists to illuminate his chapters, which yields moments that are either wonderful or predictable. At his best, however, he presents characters of moral complexity that are suited to their times and suggests that they can only begin to evolve when confronted with the startling fact that their system is moving on without them.A novel in stories that oscillates between ordinariness and brilliance.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781460244968
Publisher:
FriesenPress
Publication date:
08/01/2014
Pages:
280
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.63(d)

Meet the Author

Nnaziri Ihejirika spent most of his formative years in the thriving city of Lagos, Nigeria. An alumnus of the University of Toronto, he retains an avid interest in African history, literature and development. Currently residing in Western Canada, he is a frequent contributor to online media with an emphasis on socio-political issues. A Rainy Season is his debut novel.

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A Rainy Season 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Melinda_H More than 1 year ago
Lagos Nigeria, circa 1990’s eight people living in an apartment complex, their stories told as Nigeria sits on the precipice of military to civilian rule. Eclectic cast facing challenges involving their beliefs and actions. Their survival in a notoriously corrupt system is examined as their chaotic country unravels. The characters are at odds with cultural expectations and wanting to move ahead posing moral dilemmas. With such varying characters and individual personalities facing questionable challenges the reader feels the vibrancy and crossroads of Lagos – a bustling city always the cog of much unrest and controversy, you have a sense of the people. Inhabitants are realistic whether you love them or loath them, characterization propels this collection of connected short stories. Those familiar with life in Lagos will enjoy and comprehend the turmoil and unrest both city and players depicted face. Ihejirika’s portrayal gives a panoramic view of turbulent times in Nigeria. Entertaining characters facing chaos in a country with potential gives outsiders an understanding of the machinations of a well known corrupt government and the skills for its inhabitants to prevail. No doubt Ihejirika is an author to keep your eye on, impressive freshman effort.