American 419 and other stories (Look Inside!)
By: Adetokunbo Abiola
Format: Trade Paperback, 239 pp.
Paperback: $16.95 (+ $3.99 shipping and handling)
American 419 and Other Stories is by the Nigerian fiction writer and journalist, Adetokunbo Abiola. It is set in modern-day Nigeria and dramatically captures the emotional and physical consequences of sectarian warfare, “get rich quick” scams, environmental rape and personal suffering caused by corporate interests, poverty, and the struggles to attain money, status, and material goods. It is a highly original work and draws heavily from the author’s experiences.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Adetokunbo Abiola is a Nigerian journalist and writer. Born in England, he is a self-taught writer whose semi-autobiographical stories, about how social, political, and economic forces affect Africans and those who come into contact with Africa, are based on experiences of Nigerians and Africans in the last twenty years.
He has published a novel, LABULABU MASK (Macmillan, Nigeria), and many short stories. His stories have appeared in, among others, the following journals: Rake Journal, BBC Focus on Africa, Flask Review, Zapata!, Liberation Lit, Sage of Conscious- ness Review, Big Pulp, Mobius — A Journal for Social Change, Tres Crow World, Bicycle Review, Saraba, Pulse Literary Review, Wilderness House Literary Review, Konch Magazine, Imitation Fruit, and SNR Review. He can be reached via email at email@example.com and via Twitter @tyokunbo. Go behind the scenes as Adetokunbo Abiola discusses his writing process and how American 419 and other stories came to be.
Critical Praise for American 419 and other stories
In American 419 and Other Stories, journalist and novelist Adetokunbo Abiola takes us on an honest, unsanitized tour of modern Nigeria, one that is by turns tragic and darkly comic and in every sense thought-provoking. . . . To make a larger point, Abiola’s collection helps to close the distance that we often feel between ourselves and the difficulties of others, especially those from other nations or cultures. Even the most thoughtful and in depth journalistic accounts go only so far in bridging that divide. Abiola’s stories, like all good fiction, immerse us in the lives of those directly confronting such difficulties—be those religious or ethnic conflicts or oil-polluted water and soil—making the general deeply personal. . . . The emotional and topical breadth of American 419 is just one of its pleasures. The collection offers much to contemplate and much to enjoy.
-Beth Castrodale, Small Press Picks, June 22, 2014
The book has well-written stories that are down to earth and touch upon the life of the people in the society we live in. It is relevant to the situation of things in Nigeria presently; the insecurity arising from militancy and religious intolerance, corruption and other vices. The author has delved much on the ills bedeviling the nation in a factual manner.
-Sunmola Olowookere, The Hope, Nigerian newspaper, 5/29/14
The complete review can be read at http://www.laughingfire.com/newspaper-review-of-american-419-and-other-stories-52914.
“In AMERICAN 419 and other stories, the characters find everything does not have to happen based on a solid scientific reason. There is always a tragedy to disturb their existence. In this world of mystery and drama, the delicate balance of the characters’ sensibilities is always threatened, jeopardized, and compromised.”
“What happens when an explosion rocks a city, and a girl, who becomes a victim — suffers a tragedy that we never wish to experience? Two children think complications of living through a tribal war will soon end. What happens when it does not, and they find their lives are at stake? In a backwood area of Lagos, a child is stunned to find himself embroiled in a world of crocodiles, mayhem, and death. Will he survive the ordeal? Adetokunbo Abiola’s AMERICAN 419 and other stories supplies the answers. It is a searing short story collection, laced with the mystery and drama of modern-day Nigeria.”
-John Agetua, literary critic
“Profoundly interesting short stories. Tumultuous drama pilots the action, and several stories are gripping. but this powerful collection has its humorous side as well. This is a dramatic collection of numerous triumphs, most notably its narration of the impact of modern Nigerian experiences on the people. It is a transcendental lesson in the short story genre, vividly written and thrumming with life.”
-Adebayo Coker Emmanual, noted Nigerian literary critic