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. Abani’s debut novel offers a searing chronicle of a young man’s coming of age in Nigeria during the late s and early s. The vulnerable. By switching between flashbacks and the present, and sprinkling in some gritty scenes (child rape) and colorful detail (quoting John Wayne).

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Christopher Abani or Chris Abani is a Nigerian author. Published January 26th by Picador first published But Abani is no romanticizer; he also implies that the costs of the slow violence of poverty and the rapid and inescapable violence of a military dictatorship are even heavier on women’s bodies–not only through the mother’s cancer, but also through Efua’s repeated rape by her father and eventual we think prostitution, and through a twelve-year-old girl whom Elvis attempts to shepherd through the slums.

Elvis looks elsewhere for direction and guidance. The description of how the World Bank takes advantage of the Nigerian people under humanitarian pretenses is also a clear indictment of globalization.

Quick Review: Chris Abani’s Graceland

We follow Elvis his real namea Nigerian teenager who longs to dance and do his Elvis impersonation what commentary on internal colonization in that one characteristic! Jul 03, Michelle rated grxceland it was ok Shelves: He’s the head of a traveling theatrical group of singers, dancers, musicians and actors who perform in remote villages.

Worth reading for its searing depiction of modern Africa, but Abani is no Chinua Achebe.

Herbal remedies and anti-witchcraft concoctions—these are Nigerian. But the King of the Beggars, Elvis’s enigmatic yet faithful adviser, intercedes.

The book he had fallen asleep reading, Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man”, fell from his side to the floor, the old paperback cracking at the spine, falling neatly into two halves as precisely as if sliced by a sword. Books of the Week.


‘Graceland’ is a study in Nigeria’s many contrasts – latimes

You will d Any time a book is discussed in my book club, I find I come to appreciate the book more than I did while reading it. Throughout the novel, Abani also threads the recipe book from Elvis’s dead mother, which demonstrates the culinary connection to the local environment that has now been severed as Elvis and his father live in a slum which in turn is destroyed!

The novel can often be seen as critical of the foreign influences that operate within Nigeria. Abani veers all over the place and the book alternates between passages that are broadly satirical and comical to lurid and disturbing passages that involve incest, child rape, and torture. Chris Abani, then, is incredibly irresponsible. It is in Lagos, that Elvis quickly has to learn about the world and survival. Jun 19, Matt rated it it was ok.

Nov 09, Rod-Kelly Hines rated it it was amazing Shelves: Maybe I took too long reading it. The story leaves you ramsacked, you feel like a shipwreck. And yet beyond that, he was that scar, carved by hate and smallness and fear onto the world’s face.

The screens were dirty, hole-ridden, once-white bedsheets stretched between two wooden poles.

Graceland is an Inferno on earth, and Abani’s hero, Elvis, follows the footsteps of Florentine pilgrim, Dante. Mar 08, Rashaan rated it liked it Shelves: In “Graceland,” a coming-of-age book about a boy named Elvis, Abani writes about child rape, child torture, child soldiers and his beautiful sbani where violence is an everyday thing.

He befriends an interesting gracelan of characters that help him secure work, teach him about the world, and hasten his development. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Worth reading for its searing depiction of modern Africa, but Abani is no Chinua Achebe.


Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. I didn’t find the main character’s voice so probable, though, which is why I think I didn’t love it as much as I thought I would.

Each narrative is told in alternating chapters, each gracelaand insight into the abanni that lead to the quality of life in Nigeria devolving and the cast of characters that shape Elvis’ experience.

In addition to structure, I found A new writing mentor—someone I really admire. Views Read Edit View history. I’m not sure what to say about Graceland.

Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Gambit The Art of Creating No. As a Western reader I don’t mind them, but I think its disingenuous of Abani to not own up to them.

Atlantic Literature: Virtue, Commerce, History, and Cuisine in the novel GraceLand by Chris Abani

There were times where I had to close the book and take a moment. This was a book that needed discussion. He was pretty much screwed from the beginning, if poverty didn’t kill him, success would; an irony as bitter as the situation in what could have been one of the richest countries in Africa. May 28, Marieke rated it liked it Shelves: The western influences in GraceLand often work in exploitative manners, such as American cigarette companies distributing their products to children in movie theaters.

Open Preview See a Problem? But they’re all poor and uneducated and dirty and raped.