Cambria Press Book Excerpt from “Writing Contemporary Nigeria: How Sefi Atta Illuminates African Culture and Tradition”

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From Writing Contemporary Nigeria: How Sefi Atta Illuminates African Culture and Tradition edited by Walter P. Collins, III:

Another major event in Sheri’s life that shows the indelible marks of Lagos on her psyche is the episode in which Sheri fights back and beats up the brigadier when he abuses her physically. Atta’s deliberate use of a biracial character (often referred to derogatorily as half-caste in the Nigerian context) to beat up a Brigadier validates the claim that it is the Lagos lifestyle, and not the color of the skin (ancestry), that ultimately affects her characters:

“Telling me I’m a whore for going out. Your mother is the whore. Raise a hand to beat Sheri Bakare, and your hand will never remain the same again. Stupid man, he will find it hard to play polo from now on ….I was raised in downtown Lagos…Bring the Queen of England there. She will learn how to fight.” (Everything Good Will Come 174)

Even Sheri recognizes that she is who she is because of her having been born and bred in Lagos. When Enitan remarks that she is unable to tell who is crazier between the two of them, Sheri quickly remarks that: “after what I’ve seen, if I’m not crazy, what else would I be?”

Writing Contemporary Nigeria is a must for all African literature collections–Order it now and click here to ask your university library to purchase it.

This book is in the Cambria African Studies Series headed by Toyin Falola (University of Texas at Austin) with Moses Ochonu (Vanderbilt University).

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