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People of the City by Cyprian Ekwensi

People of the City

Best Seller
People of the City by Cyprian Ekwensi
Paperback $15.95
Jun 09, 2020 | ISBN 9781681374291

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  • Jun 09, 2020 | ISBN 9781681374291

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“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

“Ekwensi saw [Nigeria’s] contradictions more clearly than most. And he was unusual, at least among what we might call the first generation of Nigerian writers, in not merely depicting women as people in their own right, with their own wants and desires, but being unafraid to explore the kind of power they can exert over men. . . . He also remains the most cosmopolitan, the most at ease with exploring the ‘existential loss’ that is the modern Nigerian condition.” —Adewale Maja-Pearce, The Baffler

“Throughout the novel, Ekwensi critiques are electric, his narrative is mesmerizing. As such, People of the City is a vivid tale of class struggle and identity reclamation in the shadows of colonialism’s reign.” —Elisabeth Woronzoff, PopMatters

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