Obioma's 'The Fishermen' reviewed by the New York Times

Photo Credit: Chigozie Obioma
Wed, 04/15/2015 - 10:30

"... This year’s most promising African newcomer may well prove to be Chigozie Obioma. An Ibo, like Nigeria’s best-known novelist, Chinua Achebe, Obioma was born in southwestern Nigeria and has recently joined the faculty at the University of Nebraska. He is still in his 20s.

"'The Fishermen' is a biblical parable set in the 1990s, when Nigeria was under the military dictatorship of Gen. Sani Abacha. Nine-year-old Benjamin, the narrator, is the youngest of four brothers. His father is a progressive man who works for the Central Bank of Nigeria. Education and professional ambition, he believes, are the only antidotes to the canker of corruption that has spread into every corner of his country’s life. Benjamin’s father wants his children to 'dip their hands into rivers, seas, oceans of this life and become successful: doctors, pilots, professors, lawyers.'

Instead, when their father is transferred to another town, leaving their mother in charge not only of the four boys and their baby sister but of a food stall in the local market, the boys do what boys everywhere do when they realize they’re not supervised: They begin to play truant."

Read the full review from the New York Times

Photo credit: Zach Mueller