E.C Osondu’s debut collection of short stories, including the Caine Prize Winning Waiting is hilarious in all parts, and yet serious. Very serious actually. So, entertaining serious. You do not fail to laugh, but you also do not lose the fact that this is real life. The characters are convincing, they have a sense of humour that they do not realise. At some point, one feels guilty for laughing their lungs dry at the tragedy that befalls the characters, whether in Nigeria or in America. Even the ones living in Nigeria have America on their mind, anyway. The tears will come because the reader is laughing too much, but at the hands of another writer, without the gift of humour that Osondu has, these same stories could make one cry.
So, here we go.
“There is a tablet for every sickness in America.” Page 3
Nigeria’s own demons
“I heard he shot and killed his native doctor some time ago so that she cannot prepare the same juju she made for him for someone else..” Page 16
“Why are the Americans sending the eye doctors to us? Do they mean to tell us they have cured all the blind people in America?” – Page 42
Remember Achebe’s use of proverbs and sayings?
“You do not throw your child to a lion to eat because the child has offended you.” – Page 70
Who would want to die?
“I do not want to die, I do not want to die, my mind would be a terrible thing to waste, please help me.” – Page 77
“Ebone wished that she had a loyal dog in America that could sniff her husband’s crotch and confirm for her that he had slept with Rhonda.” – Page 86
Big is Big
“Nigerians do not dirty their hands with petty burglary – ‘When Nigerians steal, they steal big.” – Page 100
Buy this book. It is 215 pages of beauty. Here.