People of the City
People of the City


Chinua Achebe was the author of the first book published in the legendary Heinemann African Writers Series that, starting in the 1950s, brought contemporary African literature to the attention of the world. The second was by Cyprian Ekwensi. People of the City, Ekwensi's early masterpiece, is the tale of Amusa Sango, a young man who travels from the country to a great and crazy city that is not named but might well be taken for Lagos, where he means to make a career as a crime reporter while leading a dance band whose calypsos and konkomas "delight the heart of city women." Amuso is a man on the make, looking for stories, success, sex, maybe even love, and he finds a lot of what he's looking for, though whether he can hold on to what he has and get what he wants is another story altogether. Ekwensi's delicious novel has the swagger, bravado, and elation of the great bands of West Africa.

"Electric. . . . Ekwensi paints a vivid picture of cultural cacophony in a modernizing Nigeria filled with colonizers, revolutionaries, dreamers, and schemers. The mesmerizing tale and its feckless, frustrating protagonist provide stark glimpses into the class struggles, misogyny, and violence that often lurk beneath a bustling metropolis." —Publishers Weekly

"Lagos was a central character in much of Ekwensi's fiction, portrayed with undertones of the noir thriller, his episodic style mirroring the urgency and restlessness of the city. His lower-middle-class characters . . . are stripped naked in public, confront nasty landlords, battle inane bureaucracies, have pepper put into their vaginas, die of political violence, seduce powerful politicians, commit murder-suicides and contract sexually transmitted diseases; one senses verisimilitude in Ekwensi's unabashed melodrama. . . . The women did a lot of hip-swinging but they were often wonderfully bold." —Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, The Guardian

"People of the City tells the story of a young crime reporter who doubles as a bandleader in a large west African city. As one British critic wrote, the novel said more about west Africa than 50 government reports." —Shola Adenekan, The Guardian

"One of the most prolific African writers of the twentieth century." —Charles Larson

Title People of the City
Publisher New York Review Books
Title First Published 09 June 2020
Format Paperback
Nb of pages
ISBN-10 1681374293
ISBN-13 9781681374291
Publication Date 09 June 2020
Weight 16 oz.
 


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