||Sept 24, 2009
Koya-Oyagbola's Author Website
A book of short stories about exile. Themes explored range from poignant nostalgia and collective trauma to longing and loss. "Koya-Oyagbola cuts through the under-explored territory of middle class Nigerians in this audacious, globetrotting debut about straying fathers and aimless sons." Sefi Atta, award winning author of Everything Good Will Come
"From some white English women I've almost known I'd say there are rumours going round that black men have no dick control."
We were drowsy from post West End clubbing. Both recent graduates of UCL, this was my year of fast food and faster women, his year of toil. In three months his law degree would be earning him the foundation blocks for a fortune. I on the other hand was going on to study for a Master's degree in literature. A_ was Nigerian like me. He was from the East, I from the West. Other than that we were near identical. We were both sent to English boarding schools at an early age, both braved the sea of muted bigotry and arrogance that wafted from society; that wafted from television screens all over the land. We made it through university in spite of the determination of Nigeria's rulers to railroad our progress. After a night of clubbing, we now sat in A_'s humble flat in deepest North London, yet to be gainfully employed and starring at a blank wall of uncertain futures. I was expounding my developing view of the historically tyrannous, possible grammar of the western, white world and the indentured impossible grammar that is the fallen life of the black man.
"If pride precedes the fall, what follows the fall?" A_ asked.
"A yawning chasm widened by abject confusion. A gaping hole left for humility to fill."
A_ lowered his round shaved head. The rhinestone ear-stud in his left ear caught some light and pushed the shattered pinprick glints in my eyes. The ironic aesthetic of the embellished ear was not lost on us, given the strait laced patrician future awaiting A_. I turned back to my wall of cloudy futures. If I squinted hard enough, perhaps I could divine a pattern, an answer; configure that future to my will.
"A gaping hole for humility to fill," A_ repeated. I looked back at him to see one half of the parentheses that marked each corner of his wide mouth. The parenthesis furrowed deeper as he repeated, "gaping hole for humility to fill."
"But we're not yet humble enough my friend," I added, "not nearly humble enough."
It was now that, as though deliberately trying to mystify, he made the non sequitur contribution, "From some white English women I've almost known I'd say there are rumours going round black men have no dick control."
Koya-Oyagbla cuts through the under-explored territory of middle class Nigerians in this audacious, globetrotting debut about straying fathers and aimless sons.
-- Sefi Atta, awarding winning author of Everything Good Will Come
I always feel as though I have unearthed a treasure when I find a captivating book of short stories. Usually, in my experience, such collections are like an album--I purchase the book for one or two stories and the rest are filler. In "Some White Women I've Almost Known" I found consistency and keen insight. I highly recommend this book.
-- Jen Knox, author of Musical Chairs
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