In this dazzling debut by a singular new talent, the sprawling, swampy, cacophonous city of Lagos, Nigeria, provides the backdrop to the story of Elvis, a teenage. Abani’s debut novel offers a searing chronicle of a young man’s coming of age in Nigeria during the late s and early s. The vulnerable. By switching between flashbacks and the present, and sprinkling in some gritty scenes (child rape) and colorful detail (quoting John Wayne).

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Moody, they tended to burn films at the slightest provocation, melting the plastic into cream and brown cappuccino froth. This fascinating gracelandd is more than a beggar: Publishers Weekly highlighted its two-fold ability to tell the story of Elvis, and the larger issues of poverty and globalization: The book is at its best when it sticks to the coming of age story of its protagonist, Elvis Oke.

Today he is the Editor-in-Chief and Publisher. And throughout the book there is the waning influence of British colonial rule, the loss of indigenous knowledge, and the expanding influence of American pop culture. In the very first scene of the book, when the protagonist Elvis is awoken by traceland pounding Nigerian rainstorm, we read this: For one thing, “It was essentialist, maybe even prejudiced, because the culture he spoke of graveland Igbo, only one of nearly three hundred indigenous people in this populous country.


But his abano just don’t add up and a bunch of people, Nigerian and other, have noticed and written extensively about it.

I loved my journey with this book. An equally positive review came from Booklistwhich congratulated Abani gracceland stating: The novel can often be seen as critical of the foreign influences that operate within Nigeria.

His presence throughout the novel serves as a crude, and often ignored, moral compass. Open Preview See a Problem? One moment, you can be a teenager dressing up as Elvis Presley; the next, you can find yourself in a cell being tortured. An hour later, he woke with a start and, standing up, dusted off the seat of his grwceland.

But in a soft voice that reminds me of brushed velvet, grceland can talk forever about the intricacies of language, writing and words. Preview — GraceLand by Chris Abani. Abani tackles politics without bashing us over the head with it; things are as they are, men and women do what they do to survive until they leave the building. Aug 29, Christine rated it really liked it.

GRACELAND by Chris Abani | Kirkus Reviews

A large part of the novel is concerned with the concept of criminality. This was a book that needed discussion.

A poor druidic peddler, called The King of the Beggars, a friend to Elvis, organizes the residents of Maroko, especially inspiring Sunday, who still holds aspirations of political antagonism and activism, and who wishes to assuage feelings of regret for not doing anything with his life. Feel better, more open, later.


As evoked in this novel by Nigerian writer and poet Chris Abani, Gaceland is a city of startling contrasts: There was a problem adding your email address.

gracelajd His use of prose was often beautiful and haunting. It’s like heart yoga. But there’s absolutely nothing that can be done about it. A Nigerian-born poet and first-novelist limns a teenage boy struggling for direction in Lagos under the heel of a brutal military dictatorship.

‘Graceland’ is a study in Nigeria’s many contrasts – latimes

Some of the characters that are featured prominently are his father, Sunday Oke, a brusque drunk, who after GraceLand is about man named Elvis Oke, told in alternating narratives between the time he arrives in Lagos and the time of his life living in an area called Afikpo, prior to arriving in Lagos.

As Elvis matures from self indulgent and naive boy to awakened man, he’s initiated into the sinful ways of his world, and, like Dante, he sees firsthand how degrees of sin match degrees of survival. His grandmother admonishes him: Every time we complain that we don’t want to be ruled by military dictatorship; but every time there is a coup, we come out in the streets to sing and dance and celebrate the replacement of one despot with another one.