Voice of America: Stories (Paperback)

Voice of America: Stories By E.C. Osondu Cover Image
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“E.C. Osondu is a man with a clear head and a great ear, writing from crucial places.” —Jonathan Franzen, author of Freedom and The Corrections

“With observant wonder and subtle humor, [Osondu] portrays…our unique capacity for hope and hopelessness rolled together.” —Mary Gaitskill, author of Bad Behavior and Veronica

This collection of vivid, compulsively readable stories marks the debut of Nigerian author E.C. Osondu, winner of the 2009 Caine Prize for African Writing. In the tradition of Wole Soyinka, Nadine Gordimer, J.M. Coetzee, and Chinua Achebe (all patrons of the Caine Prize), Osondu’s stories are wise, soul-stirring, and deeply compelling. In electrifying prose, he articulate the struggles of Nigerian immigrants in America, and refugees, villagers, and ex-patriots in Africa. Voice of America marks the beginning for a brave and remarkable new voice in African Literature.

About the Author

E. C. Osondu is the author of Voice of America. Born in Nigeria, he received his MFA from Syracuse University and is the winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing and a Pushcart Prize. His fiction has appeared in The Atlantic, n+1, Guernica, and other publications. He teaches at Providence College in Rhode Island.

Praise For…

“A man with a clear head and a great ear, writing from crucial places.” — Jonathan Franzen

“His characters may dream about America, but E. C. Osondu’s bracing portrayal of life in Africa is the heart of this debut story collection.” — New York Times

“There is room here for every style of storytelling, from folktale to crime tale to satire, to the very somber and sad—and just when you think the writer has surely exhausted his bag of uproariously funny observations of street life in Lagos, or of immigrant experience in America, he unpacks more. . . . Osondu’s prose style, with its repetitions and run-ons, is that of the raconteur. It is direct and unmannered, it is inventive and humorous, but above all it is compelling.” — The Guardian

“Osondu looks at the human condition in all its poignant absurdity; with observant wonder and subtle humor, he portrays our capacity for heartbreak, resilience, love, courage, sorrow, and most of all, our unique capacity for hope and hopelessness rolled together.” — Mary Gaitskill

“E. C. Osondu has written uncannily direct stories with nothing ‘posed’ about them. This is a collection of real power, surprise, and harsh beauty.” — Amy Hempel

“A big-hearted story collection. . . . Meticulous and energetic, these stories brim with stubborn hope sprung free from life’s dark realities.” — Elle

“Osondu’s excellent short stories, set in both Nigeria and the U.S., reveal the vast cultural chasm that persists between our countries. . . . These richly shaded tales explore old ways and new, wealth and poverty, myth, and misapprehension.” — Booklist

“For all its grimness, Voice of America shines with Osondu’s compassion for his unmoored creations. . . .Osondu’s rooftops do not make easy viewing, but he paints them with such skill that they become compelling. . . .In Voice of America, Osondu succeeds in creating a vivid and fully imagined world that is uniquely his own. It is a wonderful achievement.” — The Observer

“A fantastic short story collection. . . .Osondu’s stories cleverly combine narrative understatement, a vigorous prose style and the ability to shock and delight. He deftly interweaves recurring thematic threads such as deception and self-deception, the traditions that both bind and suffocate, and the moral choices people make. . . .Outstanding.” — Financial Times

“Compelling. . . . Osondu’s direct and humorous insights and poetic descriptions create a captivating portrait of time and place. . . . Whereas the stories set in Nigeria have a fablesque quality, the American-set tales are poignant studies of the immigrant experience.” — Publishers Weekly

“Tinged with hilarity. . . . Osondu juxtaposes the richness and desperation of life ‘on the ground’ in Africa with the actualities of the American dream. . . . He goes beyond mere examination to achieve artistry. . . . This book is essential.” — Library Journal

“Promising. . . . Warm, humane. . . . Osondu’s first collection is a grim but compassionate look at desperate Nigerians both at home and abroad. . . . Osondu convinces us not only of the perils and hazards but also of the pathos of these people’s plights, and of the resiliency that makes them reinvent themselves again and again.” — Kirkus Reviews

Product Details
ISBN: 9780061990878
ISBN-10: 0061990876
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: October 25th, 2011
Pages: 224
Language: English