In this dazzling debut by a singular new talent, the sprawling, swampy, cacophonous city of Lagos, Nigeria, provides the backdrop to the story of Elvis, a teenage. This one-page guide includes a plot summary and brief analysis of Graceland by Chris Abani. GraceLand is a novel by Nigerian-American author Chris Abani. Graceland is a dazzling debut by a singular new talentThe sprawling, swampy, cacophonous city of Lagos, Nigeria, provides the backdrop to the story of Elvis.

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I feel grateful for this book. This page was last edited on 21 Decemberat Retrieved from ” https: Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. Amazon Advertising Find, attract, and engage customers. I’m not going to lie, this book isn’t a happy one but the story is touching and the language Abani uses is gorgeous. Starting from a, to be honest, fairly cliched story – a young man trying to find his place in a world that doesn’t want him – Abani weaves a character piece where the details get to show how it all hangs together, from kingdoms to dictatorship, from Las Vegas to Lagos, where everything you’re promised by your name or your background turns to bitter though often laugh-out-loud funny irony.

May 28, Marieke rated it liked it Shelves: Let’s get back to the author then.

While I certainly think it’s about time a mass-market paperback about the current conditions in industrialized West Africa, Abani presents his critique of American imperialism within a whole lot of artistry or subtlety. Besides, I’ve never been one to approach celebrities, literary or otherwise. Would you like to tell us about a lower price? Oct 06, Twodogs rated it liked it. His, and the corpses of many others, are left amidst the rubble as a message to survivors.

Dec 30, Frances rated it it was ok Shelves: Given the current political and social reality, story-telling the Dark Continent is inextricably tied to the politics of representation, regardless of whether the author’s intent is benign or not. Feb 21, Jose Martinez added it. Elvis Oke, a teenage Elvis impersonator spurred on by the triumphs of heroes in the American movies and books he devours, pursues his chosen vocation with ardent single- This novel is set in Maroko, a sprawling, swampy, crazy and colorful ghetto of Lagos, Nigeria, and abanl against a backdrop of lush reggae and highlife music, American movies and a harsh urban existence.

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Also be sure to read the somber audio book performed by the author. But Abani is no romanticizer; he also implies that the costs of the grace,and violence of poverty and the rapid and inescapable violence of a military dictatorship are even heavier on women’s bodies–not only through the mother’s cancer, but also through Efua’s repeated rape by her father and eventual we think prostitution, and through a twelve-year-old girl whom Elvis attempts to shepherd through the slums.

The dramatic presence takes place in Lagos abanafter Elvis and his estranged father, Sunday, have moved from their small village into Maroko, a Lagos slum.

Read it if your heart feels strong enough to bear being torn apart. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers.

: GraceLand: A Novel (): Chris Abani: Books

As Barthelme’s writing reveals, no part of our life is left unadulterated by the media, and, in Abani’s novel, we also find that no corner of the earth is left untainted by Western influences. In a lot of ways, Graceland is an impressive novel, both playful and harshly realistic in its depiction gracelqnd life at the not quite but almost bottom. An honest account of the flaws of humanity. This is what we are trying to show you. So far this is my favorite selection.

Graeland to Know Us. Many parallels with real life. Both authors were featured in a discussion on the show, which helped it gain additional renown. Abani is a first novelist with a very bright future. Abani is also very good at writing satirical and humorous passages. And some other things. I grew up conflicted about this whole notion [of global blackness].

However, it is necessary to observe that global influences also have positive implications in certain areas of the book.


The news out of Africa is so bad so aban of time that it takes a writer of rare skill to make us pay attention. In this case, Lagos, Nigeria in the early s, with flashbacks a few years earlier. Empty bottles were valuable because the local Coca-Cola factory washed and reused them.

Abani doesn’t flinch to bring these stories to light.

Well worth the read. Graceland is the story of a son and his father, and an examination of postcolonial Nigeria, where the trappings of American culture reign supreme.

Quick Review: Chris Abani’s Graceland

That is, I assume that it is if you read it in the original English. I understand that this was a troubling and difficult time in the country’s history, but by the end of the book it gdaceland like an absurdist comedy, and Aabni just wanted it to be over, as opposed to feeling deeply aabani and moved, as I suppose was the intent. Abani crafts a masterful tale of Nigeria, youth, coming of age, loss, pain, suffering, the wild, senseless injustices of the world and much more.

The author creates qbani depth of feeling and meaning through symbolism and imagery throughout the book, and the central symbol is the tragicomic dilemma of the protagonist, a gifted, largely self-educated boy with a drive to excel in his calling, who, through a combination of circumstance, naivete, and willful self-delusion, settles upon a career so ludicrous and impossible and so pleasingly telling–I love this kind of writing, which often means so much more than it overtly says that even while you laugh out loud from time to time, the character is so engaging, and the book so filled with empathy and love, that you more often ache for him and his country, and from time to time are simply dazzled by the beauty of his doomed efforts.