In this dazzling debut by a singular new talent, the sprawling, swampy, cacophonous city of Lagos, Nigeria, provides the backdrop to the story of Elvis, a teenage. This one-page guide includes a plot summary and brief analysis of Graceland by Chris Abani. GraceLand is a novel by Nigerian-American author Chris Abani. Graceland is a dazzling debut by a singular new talentThe sprawling, swampy, cacophonous city of Lagos, Nigeria, provides the backdrop to the story of Elvis.

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Now that he’s been living in Southern California for some time, I’d love to read a book about LA targeted specifically toward Nigerian readers.

He is a stunning creation, and I greatly admire Abani’s drawing of him as a character.

GRACELAND by Chris Abani | Kirkus Reviews

Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 1 edition February 15, Language: He talks about the concept of the African extended family, saying so much in his descript It was nice reading about the life gracelane a youth living in Lagos. Story about a young man trying to get by in Lagos slums yraceland the s. Share your thoughts with other customers. Herbal remedies and anti-witchcraft concoctions—these are Nigerian.

The two most memorable are Sunday, and Elvis’s close friend, Redemption.

aabni And he influenced people like Fela Kuti. Books by Chris Abani. We follow Elvis, an aspiring dancer and Elvis Presley impersonator, as he and his family migrate from their rural village to the teeming slums of Lagos during the early s. Given the current political and social reality, story-telling the Dark Continent is inextricably tied to the politics of representation, regardless of whether the author’s intent is benign or not.

Quick Review: Chris Abani’s Graceland

He came to the university where I work to speak to a room full of international students, and over a delectable plate of Southern soul food, he told stories. Chris Abani depicts the poverty and violence in Lagos and how it affects the everyday lives of Elvis and his family. And that, I believe, is what good writing is all about. You know it is taboo to whistle at night. I understand that this was a troubling and difficult time in the country’s history, but by the end of the book it was like an absurdist comedy, and I just wanted it to be over, as opposed to feeling deeply effected and moved, as I suppose was the intent.


But they’re all poor and uneducated and dirty and raped.

GraceLand – Wikipedia

Sunday remarries to a vendor named Comfort, who has children of her own. But it’s the type of book that both Black and Elvis would want to write. This not only represents the splitting of the diaspora but the ability to enter the text in a way that he wouldn’t be able to if he didn’t share that fundamental racial heritage. But the King of the Beggars, Elvis’s enigmatic yet faithful adviser, intercedes. I’m not sure what to say about Graceland. So who cares what they think, anyway.

If you want to see Nigeria through the eyes of a disenfranchised kid trying his best to survive in post independent Nigeria, set during the late 70’s and early 80’s. Christopher Abani or Chris Abani is a Nigerian author. There’s a problem loading this menu right now. But still he finds himself constantly broke.

The book is most powerful when it refrains from polemic and didacticism and simply follows its protagonist on his daily journey through the violent, harsh Nigerian landscape. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. In a lot of ways, Graceland is an impressive novel, both playful and harshly realistic in its depiction of life at the not quite but almost bottom.

Each week, our editors garceland the one author and one book they believe to be most worthy of your attention and highlight them in our Pro Connect email alert. Palm oil and palm wine.

Please try again later. In that respect, we also see the over-reach of American and Western culture and ideals. The non-chronological story telling method Abani utilizes functions as a spiral.

Abaji beginning of Book 2 moves forward from that point, staying in Read it if your heart feels strong enough to bear being torn apart. The author creates incredible depth of feeling and meaning through symbolism and imagery throughout the book, and the central symbol is the This book aspires to more than it achieves, but it is a wonderful and, at times, amazing first novel nonetheless. GraceLand left me satisfied, but I hope that Abani – who was raised in a mansion with cars and servents – doesn’t continue to romanticize the poor, abused artist.


Mar 08, Rashaan rated it liked it Graeland Details are what bring graceoand back to Lagos each time. Elvis Oke, a teenage Elvis impersonator in Lagos, Nigeria, attempts to come of age in spite of an alcoholic father who beats him and a soul-crushing ghetto environment that threatens to engulf him.


It’s a wild ride, and you come to the end of it all shook up, but as sixteen year old Elvis gets ready to fly off and join his auntie in America Las Vegas, no graceladyou share his feelings of hope and determination. And yet beyond that, he was that scar, carved by hate and smallness and fear onto the world’s face. Both authors were featured in a discussion on the show, which helped it gain additional renown.

Get fast, free shipping with Amazon Prime. Follow Shaun on Twitter shaunrandol. The writer wonderfully describes the significance of the Kola, the importance and power of traditional medicines and those that practice them, and the recipes are fun.

Add both to Cart Add both to List. And it’s been a raging success. Redemption is a counterbalance to Elvis as he represents all those who are left behind, can’t leave, or provide the opportunity to those they care about for a better life. Ships from and sold by Abanii. About halfway through I felt eager and anxious that the rest of the novel would be a frightening, downward spiral—I was right.