Publisher – Parrésia Publishers Ltd.
Published – May 16th, 2017.
A university graduate in desperate need of a job. An illiterate farmer’s vengeance for a dead son. A young pragmatic man humbled by the horrors of incarceration. An old man’s dying gift to a generation. A journalist’s courage in a notorious military government. A youth Corper’s temperance of religion, love and survival.
Their Stories. . .
From the quiet town of Umuahia, to the plains of the Jos Plateau, and the bustling hub of Lagos, these Nigerian men have stories to tell. Stories of life, love, family, happiness, sorrow, pestilence and death—situations faced every day in their lives. Armed with objectivity, some find peace with their resolutions. Others face dire consequences with prices to pay—with their freedom, or even worse, with their lives.
There a six thought-provoking stories in Amara Nicole’s book Son of Man, where she shares with us her passion for storytelling in this collection of short stories, which all have a taste of loss and a side of devastation. This book has a unique characteristic, because of the perspectives stories are narrated from.
The first story titled “The Talking Shoes” is told by the protagonist Andrew’s shoes, which narrates the struggles their owner goes through on a particularly gloomy day, and how much strength it takes to move forward when all hope is lost.
With this story, the precedent mood for this collection of stories is set, because as I devoured each story, the more the stories evoked the emotional feelings Amara Nicole intended them to do in her readers, for they paint a stark picture of how immense loss can affect a person.
In all the stories, the one that moved me the most was “The Machete of Retribution” in which the protagonist a farmer named Ejiofor, who has lost everyone important to him but his young son, will stop at nothing to make sure has a bright future for ahead of him. But when the people who have sworn an oath to always care for people, succumb to greed and Ejiofor pays the ultimate price, it sets off something in him, that will only condemn him for life.
I loved this collection of stories because something important can be taken from each of the stories. All the stories have something new to offer to its readers, as it perfectly navigates the nature of most humans, and makes the actions taken by the various characters believable. Amara Nicole Okoro definitely proves that she has a phenomenal mind—one that’s evident in how she pens the human experience in its fullness.
About the Author
Amara Nicole Okolo is a lawyer and writer living in Nigeria. Her novel, Black Sparkle Romance was published by Ankara Press, an imprint of Cassava Republic (2014, Nigeria, Africa; 2016, UK/Europe) and her second book, a collection of short stories, Son of Man by Parresia Publishers (2016).
References to her work have appeared on The Guardian, Brittle Paper, Chimurenga the Chronic and Aljazeera. She was amongst the participants of the 2015 Farafina Workshop by Chimamanda Adichie.
In 2017 her essay, “The Things We Never Say” was published by Catapult. She is currently working on her second and third novels.