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Helon Habila’s essay collection on the tragic kidnapping of the Chibok girls has found a home in the Nigerian literary market thanks to Parresia Publishers. The launching of the book will take place next month in about two weeks at Ake Festival.

Finally, Nigerians will get the chance to read Habila’s reflections on the incident event through the personal accounts of some of the girls who escaped.

Victor Ehikhamenor shared the cover design a couple of weeks ago. The haunting cover captures the deep sense of tragedy that the story evokes and also the brutality of it all. Ehikhamenor, who has previously designed two of Habila’s book, says that his particular cover was a bit difficult to design. It “is the least exciting…because of the content,” he writes in the caption of the image.

He is certainly right. The incident brings up painful memories of loss and collective bereavement. Isn’t that why Habila’s collection is so significant? It is not just an attempt to throw light on the incident but also to honor these girls and to give them a space to tell their on stories.

Here is the Amazon blurb:

On April 15, 2014, 267 girls from the Chibok Secondary School in northern Nigeria were kidnapped by Boko Haram, the world’s deadliest terrorist group. Most were never heard from again. Acclaimed Nigerian novelist Helon Habila tracks down some of the escaped girls and their families to hear their stories and to offer the most complete and intimate account yet of this horrible tragedy that stunned the world. Through their personal stories, Habila offers readers a better understanding of the religious wars that have ravaged his country, of which Boko Haram is just another phase in an endless battle between Christians and Muslims in northern Nigeria.

Those in the US can preorder here.

Those in Nigeria, can follow Parresia on Twitter for updates on where to find the book.

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

2 Responses to “The Haunting Cover of Helon Habila’s Book on the Chibok Tragedy” Subscribe

  1. Chiziterem November 2, 2016 at 5:30 pm #

    I don’t know if it’s weird to be happy such a book exists. I guess the happiness comes from a place where I know now that the literary community in Nigeria have intentions to write, incessantly, about this very tragic thing that Nigerians have not, and will not quickly, forgotten.

  2. john_onah November 7, 2016 at 4:49 am #

    Chi i concur with you on this. i for one think fiction writing shouldn’t satisfy ‘readers’ entertainment wants’ only, but also be a voice to the masses, strength to the weak, and help to the oppressed.

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