a brutal but surprisingly poetic novel about an African child soldier ... an intensely moving story, as well as a horrifying one, all the more so for tackling an issue of our time ...The issue of course being child soldiers and as the Pauli points, Save the Children estimates that around 300,000 children around the world are currently fighting in wars.
Nigerian born Iweala is just 23. He grew up in the US and studied at Harvard where his novel grew out of the thesis he was writing. His mum Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is Nigeria's finance minister (and hailed as "a great reformer").
You can read with him about his writing and about his views on Africa in this very interesting interview from the Morning News.
And as this article from the Herald Tribune points out, there is a whole new generation of Nigerian writers taking the literary world by storm. Some names to watch out for Sefi Atta, Helen Oyeyemi, Chris Abani, Segun Afolabi, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
All of which makes me very happy. Not least because a part of my heart still lives in Nigeria.
Shakespeare the African (15/3/05)
Read and Become Wise (11/5/05)