Book chat- Toni Kan, and Leye Adenle - Lucia Edafioka

Book chat- Toni Kan, and Leye Adenle

Books- The Carnivorous City, Easy Motion Tourists

Moderator- Tendai Huchu

Toni Kan’s new book, The Carnivorous City and Leye Adenle’s debut novel, Easy Motion Tourists, have quite a number of similarities: they are crime thrillers, both were published by Cassava Republic, and, more importantly, they are both set in Lagos.

 “There is something about Lagos that brings out the beast in you, it’s not that you are a bad person, it is a coping mechanism”- Toni Kan said of the character in his book during the book chate moderated by Tendai Huchu. Abel, who comes to Lagos to look for his missing brother, Soni, a Lagos big boy- whose car was found in a ditch- and as they searched for Soni, Abel meets some shady characters his brother has had to deals with. Abel  doesn’t come out of the encounter the same.

The Face of Tyranny:  Book Chat with Jowhor Ile and Odafe Atogun - Enajite Efemuaye

The military era was a dark time for Nigeria and it is reflected in the fiction set in that time where brutality and tyranny of the nation’s leaders. Odafe Adogun and Jowhor Ile, both first-time novelists, set their stories in that time.

Where Johwor’s book was set in the 90s, Adogun chose an unspecified time to bring his protagonist Tanudo home from exile.

Taduno’s story wraps around that of his girlfriend, Lela, who was taken away by government agents in Taduno’s Song. The author revealed during the book chat hosted by Dami Ajayi that while Taduno’s character was modeled on Fela Kuti, who fought brutality with peace and his music. He however chose to leave the time in which the book is set unspecified because “the president in Taduno’s Song is representative of tyranny all over the world.” Therefore he didn’t feel the need to parody any Nigerian military ruler as “tyranny in the world has the same face.”

Book Chat: Sweet Medicine, Under the Udala Tree - IfeOluwa Nihinlola

Authors: Panashe Chigumadzi and Chinelo Okparanta

Moderator: Ayodele Morocco-Clarke

Panashe Chigumadzi and Chinelo Okparanta’s debut novels, Sweet Medicine and Under the Udala Trees, both have women as their central characters. Sweet Medicine, set in 2008 Zimbabwe, tells the story of Tsitsi, who tries to find economic security in the midst of the financial turmoil of the time. Under the Udala Trees is the story of Ijeoma, and Amina, two women, one Igbo the other Hausa, set in the time of Biafra. Both novels deal with political ideas, and in the book chat moderated by Ayodele Morocco-Clarke, the authors talked about their motivations in writing the stories.

Panashe’s interests were not primarily political. She said, “I’m interested in sort of the interiority.” Of the heavily politicised backgrounds like the Zimbabwe she works with, she said,  “sometimes we forget about people, and people are really just a vehicle to talk about Zimbabwe. We don’t really care about what happens in the day to day experiences of people, which is sort of what I’m interested in right now.”

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