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On Black Sisters Street by Chika Unigwe
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On Black Sisters Street

Best Seller
On Black Sisters Street by Chika Unigwe
Apr 26, 2011 | ISBN 9780679604464

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  • Apr 26, 2011 | ISBN 9780679604464

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Praise for On Black Sisters Street

“ [‘On Black Sisters Street’ is] boiling with a sly, generous humor. Unigwe is as adept at conveying the cacophony of a Nigerian bus as she is at suggesting the larger historical events that propel her characters. ‘On Black Sisters Street’ marks the arrival of a latter-day Thackeray, an Afro-Belgian writer who probes with passion, grace and comic verve the underbelly of our globalized new world economy.”
The New York Times Book Review  (*an Editors Choice selection in the 5/10 NYTBR)
“Powerful….The author’s raw voice, unflinching eye for detail, facility for creating a complex narrative, and affection for her characters make this a must read.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Gripping….As Unigwe tells her characters’ stories in interweaving narratives and time lines, the women embody depths of fear and displacement, as well as the will to survive and prosper.”

“A novel of desperation, sexual exploitation, and, ultimately, sisterhood. … Unigwe has a talent for capturing the dashed dreams of young women who are stronger than they imagine. … The women’s personal stories are wrenchingly memorable.”
Library Journal

“In her English-language debut, the Nigerian-born Unigwe convincingly exposes an unfamiliar world without sentimentality. Capable drama that puts a human face on the scourge of human trafficking.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Spellbinding…combines a storyteller’s narrative flair with a reporter’s eye for grim, gritty details about the sex industry. … Nigerian-born Unigwe crafts her characters’ voices with crystalline prose and compassion, in a revelatory work as tough, humane and unsentimental as its heroines.”
MORE Magazine

“Chika Unigwe’s ON BLACK SISTERS STREET is a grand and compassionate and moving work of art. The best fiction succeeds when it allows a reader to open a door, step into a different world, look about and say, finally, I feel and know this place and these people as if I have visited many times before. Ms. Unigwe has done that for us with all the men and women of her new novel. We owe her much praise and much gratitude.”
Edward P. Jones, winner of the Pulitzer Prize

“Powerfully and gently, Unigwe gives voice to African women who walk the streets of their nightmares and dreams.”
–Sefi Atta, author of Everything Good Will Come

“Chika Unigwe brings an ethnographic eye and masterful storytelling to bear on this complex portrait of African sex workers in Antwerp.  Her startlingly physical prose offers a fresh look at lives made and unmade between Europe and Africa.”
–Mateo Taussig-Rubbo, University of Buffalo

“Chika Unigwe has evoked a chilling, brutal, and terrifying world with warmth, compassion, and courage. The voices of degraded African women are clearly heard, their bodies vividly rendered, their sorrows deeply understood, and their humanity ultimately realized. On Black Sisters Street is a dark tale luminously told, a stunningly moving book.”—Lee Siegel, author of Love in a Dead Language
“Chika Unigwe writes with moral urgency nourished by a nuanced understanding of the human condition and prose that is elegantly calibrated. And for all the dark turns her work takes, On Black Sisters Street is suffused with warmth, hard-won wisdom, and a deep compassion.”—Chris Abani, author of Becoming Abigail and Song for Night
“A probing and unsettling exploration of the many factors that lead African women into prostitution in Europe . . . an important and accomplished novel that leaves a strong aftertaste. Unigwe gives voice to those who are voiceless . . . and bestows dignity on those who are stripped of it.”—The Independent

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