Nigerian author Uwem Akpan, who is a Jesuit priest, is a prolific story writer. He was ordained a priest in 2003 and received his MFA (Masters) in creative writing from the University of Michigan in 2006. Uwem studied philosophy and English at Creighton and Gonzaga universities then studied theology for three years at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa.
He was ordained as a Jesuit priest in 2003 and received his master's degree in creative writing from the University of Michigan in 2006.
Uwem's collection of short stories was chosen by influential US talk show host Oprah Winfrey for her book club.
Oprah picked “Say You’re One Of Them” as her 63rd book club selection, the first time she has chosen a book of short stories, saying these stories “left me stunned and profoundly moved.”
His story collection was first published last year by Little Brown. The five stories are each set in a different African country -- Benin, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and Rwanda -- and are told through the eyes of children aged 6 to 16. The book was published this month by Little Brown.
"Children are living through these conflicts. Some of them have seen horrible things." Akpan, 37, said in an interview.
He said he began the book by brainstorming the problems in Africa that worried him most, and decided that telling them from the point of view of children would increase their power.
"I listed the issues about Africa. And these issues are not all in one country, thank God," he said.
One story, "My Parents' Bedroom," is set during the Rwandan genocide of 1994 and narrated by a 9-year-old girl who watches her Hutu father kill her Tutsi mother with a machete.
Akpan has never been to Rwanda but he said he followed reports of the genocide in the Nigerian press.
The collection, published in 2008, includes five separate stories from the perspective of an African child that were described as capturing the resilience of children growing up in the face of unimaginable devastation.
This is a Nigerian one should be very proud of. Keep up the good work!
Check his book out at Amazon.com
I already ordered the book via amazon.com for $8.99, shipping & Handling:$3.99, total for this Order was $12.98. It will arrive in my home within 3-5days. Yaaay!!!
Sept 24th, 2009.
Yaaaaaaaay, my copy of 'Say You're One of Them' arrived today thru UPS! I made the purchase via amazon.com
Gonna start reading it 2nite! Yippee!!!