Mary's Reviews > Say You're One of Them

Say You're One of Them by Uwem Akpan
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Jan 08, 12

bookshelves: history-politics, african, short-stories
Read from January 03 to 08, 2012

Im glad I read this book! It was tragic, but important. i was left with the sense of the indominantability of the human spirit. In three short stories and two novellas told from an African child's point of view Akpan, SJ shows us the tragedies of life in 5 African countries. The various mindsets of people from different tribes who are struggling with modern life, village and tribal cultures, democracy, military rule and the demands of Islam and Christianity show us what a confusing and painful trip it will be for Africans to join the 21st century. The universal human need for an us-them sense of community made the appeal of Al-Qaeda clear to me. It is saying the modern world is your enemy; destroy it; go back to your past. The author varies his narrative voice in each story so that I felt was inside the head of each child. His dialogue blends African and French phrases with the English so that I had a sense of the difficulty even Africans have with understanding each other.
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