Say You're One of Them

Say You're One of Them

Book - 2008
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Uwem Akpan's stunning stories humanize the perils of poverty and violence so piercingly that few readers will feel they've ever encountered Africa so immediately. The eight-year-old narrator of An Ex-Mas Feast needs only enough money to buy books and pay fees in order to attend school. Even when his twelve-year-old sister takes to the streets to raise these meager funds, his dream can't be granted. Food comes first. His family lives in a street shanty in Nairobi, Kenya, but their way of both loving and taking advantage of each other strikes a universal chord. In the second of his stories published in a New Yorker special fiction issue, Akpan takes us far beyond what we thought we knew about the tribal conflict in Rwanda. The story is told by a young girl, who, with her little brother, witnesses the worst possible scenario between parents. They are asked to do the previously unimaginable in order to protect their children. This singular collection will also take the reader inside Nigeria, Benin, and Ethiopia, revealing in beautiful prose the harsh consequences for children of life in Africa. Akpan's voice is a literary miracle, rendering lives of almost unimaginable deprivation and terror into stories that are nothing short of transcendent.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Co., 2008.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780316113786
Characteristics: 358 p. : map ; 22 cm.


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Apr 18, 2019

This was hard to read, but so worth reading.

JBarringer Apr 23, 2015

If you are looking for a book that will restore your faith in humanity and your hope for a brighter future for mankind, this is not the book you are looking for. The stories in this collection show kids in horrible situations, victims of the various evils their communities create for them, including extreme poverty, child trafficking, sexual molestation, murder, and genocidal violence. While the stories are fiction, they are based on real life, and bring to life several horrible events in recent African history that are often reduced to less unpleasant, safer narratives in news reports and history books. Kids all over the world are subjected to similar evils, so not only do these stories make the horrific conditions in parts of Africa disturbingly real, but they also show what kids closer to home are going through, from their own perspectives. Reading this book may not inspire readers to like humanity more, but it may lead to some rather fruitful discussions about what we are doing to ourselves and how we can make things better. (less)

JThimothe Feb 04, 2015

It pains me to read these short stories which are told through the lens of a child. Prostitution, Child Sex Trafficking, religious conflict and more run rampant through various African nations.

The language of the book was hard to get through. It mixed both English and African languages but most of the time, I didn't understand what was being said.

Jun 04, 2014

great book with a unique and innocent perspective. told from the point of view of the children, an effect which makes their innocence even more pronounced. Definitely recommend

Mar 03, 2014

I'm not one to keep up with foreign affairs, but usually when attention is drawn in the news about such things as child slavery, genocide and abuse to children in Africa it catches my attention and I just say a prayer and remind my children how blessed they are to be born in this country. The stories told from a child's point of view is impacting and opens your heart to the plight of Africa's dysfunctional diaspora caused by so much greed from other countries.

Bettiea1755 Feb 06, 2014

Saviez-vous que vous pouvez également voir le film et aussi l'avoir en livre audio. Le film est excellent!

Jul 27, 2012

Five stories (two quite long at about 150 pages each) set in Africa. Child narrators. Harrowing and horrific and unbearably hard to read. The only aspect which did not work well for me was the use of dialogue which was used to show diversity.

BrigidScott Jan 17, 2012

Great collection of wide ranging short stories, but due to subject(s) covered, difficult to read at times.

May 17, 2011

i could not finish reading this book it was too painful & to think these stories were happening to small children it just tore my heart apart. what puzzles me even more is that a catholic priest wrote these stories.

May 04, 2011

Though the subject of the short stories are a powerful subject, I found the writer's style was really hard to follow. Also, many of the stories seem to drop off without really ending.

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Dec 04, 2011

jvanderg thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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