Friday, January 28, 2011

Graceland (by Chris Abani)

I'm just finishing up teaching this novel, so I figured I should write about it! It was recommended by Aych, and worked out really well for the class, which is a World Lit class that's focusing on the issues each novel raises about the region in which it's set. This one is set in Lagos, Nigeria, and deals with issues like Western influence and postcolonialism, as well as poverty and the economy, native traditions and women's rights issues... there was a lot to talk about, and we had some good class discussions (at least the percentage of the class that did the reading).

That sounds kind of dry maybe, but the story is also pretty compelling in and of itself: it's the coming of age story of a young boy named Elvis (after Elvis Presley) who is a very likeable, if flawed, protagonist. A lot of terrible things happen, but it's nonetheless a great novel! Next up, The Namesake.

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