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The Fishermen
by Chigozie Obioma


Overview - In a Nigerian town in the mid 1990's, four brothers encounter a madman whose mystic prophecy of violence threatens the core of their close-knit family.
Told from the point of view of nine year old Benjamin, the youngest of four brothers, THE FISHERMEN is the Cain and Abel-esque story of an unforgettable childhood in 1990's Nigeria, in the small town of Akure.
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More About The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma
 
 
 
Overview
In a Nigerian town in the mid 1990's, four brothers encounter a madman whose mystic prophecy of violence threatens the core of their close-knit family.
Told from the point of view of nine year old Benjamin, the youngest of four brothers, THE FISHERMEN is the Cain and Abel-esque story of an unforgettable childhood in 1990's Nigeria, in the small town of Akure. When their strict father has to travel to a distant city for work, the brothers take advantage of his extended absence to skip school and go fishing. At the ominous, forbidden nearby river, they meet a dangerous local madman who persuades the oldest of the boys that he is destined to be killed by one of his siblings.
What happens next is an almost mythic event whose impact-both tragic and redemptive-will transcend the lives and imaginations of its characters and its readers. Dazzling and viscerally powerful, The Fishermen never leaves Akure but the story it tells has enormous universal appeal. Seen through the prism of one family's destiny, this is an essential novel about Africa with all of its contradictions-economic, political, and religious-and the epic beauty of its own culture.
With this bold debut, Chigozie Obioma emerges as one of the most original new voices of modern African literature, echoing its older generation's masterful storytelling with a contemporary fearlessness and purpose.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780316338370
  • ISBN-10: 0316338370
  • Publisher: Little Brown and Company
  • Publish Date: April 2015
  • Page Count: 304
  • Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Coming of Age
Books > Fiction > Cultural Heritage
Books > Fiction > Family Life

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2015-02-23
  • Reviewer: Staff

Seamlessly interweaving the everyday and the elemental, Obioma’s strange, imaginative debut—the translation rights to which have been sold in 12 countries—probes the nature of belief and the power of family bonds. Set in 1990s Nigeria, it is narrated by Benjamin Agwu, who is nine when his father departs for a distant banking job, leaving his wife and six children behind in the village of Akure. Despite stern admonitions, the four oldest brothers soon test their mother’s discipline. Their worst transgression is to fish in the Omi-Ala, a once-pure river that has become dirty and dangerous. There they encounter a mentally ill man named Abulu, who is locally believed to have powers of prophecy. Inexplicably, Abulu knows the eldest Agwu brother, Ikenna, by name. In a trance, he foretells the teenager’s death in detail, adding that it will be at “the hands of a fisherman.” Convinced that one of his brothers will kill him, Ikenna is enraged and destructive, isolating himself and throwing his home into chaos; ultimately, not just Ikenna but the whole family will be transformed by the power of Abulu’s words. Obioma excels at juxtaposing sharp observation, rich images of the natural world, and motifs from biblical and tribal lore; his novel succeeds as a convincing modern narrative and as a majestic reimagining of timeless folklore. (Apr.)

 
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