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Ms. paper (2)

Dear Ms. Paper:

I’m not a big novel reader, to be honest. It takes a good novel to keep me away from using my very precious down time to Netflix and chill. When I mean good novel, I mean juicy story with all levels of dramatic intensity. I wanted to know if Welcome to Lagos is any of that. Also, I’m a cheap. Last time I checked the price of the book, the kindle version was 7.19 pounds. That’s one Starbucks latte and possibly a cake pop. You get my drift. Any thoughts about the book?

 

Dear Cheapskate Netflix Binge-Queen,

Welcome to Lagos was written for someone like you. It is an adventure story set in one of Africa’s craziest cities. Have you been to Lagos? If you have, you’d know that there is no such thing as commonplace in Lagos. Every second of life is pure drama. When you step out of your door in Gods’ favorite African city, there is no knowing what the day has in store for you. Welcome to Lagos documents this universe where everyday people play hero or villain in a grand urban drama.

In some ways, Welcome to Lagos is a classic Robin Hood story. It starts out with a group of men and women meeting each other by chance and then banding together to find refuge from the daily abuses of being poor or disadvantaged. As the story progresses, their role changes and they begin to essentially steal from the rich and give to the poor. I don’t want to give away too much, but there might just be a thread of romance buried deep in the folds of this heart-racing urban adventure.

Onuzo is the kind of writer who gives her characters the space to shine. She doesn’t over-write things. She just lets the wildness of the city and the noble ambitions of her characters drive the pace of the story. Everything moves really fast and there are a lot of surprises.

Perhaps no novel known to man could compete with an addictive Netflix series. I’m thinking a series like Stranger Things. I’m thinking Making a Murderer. But it is sure worth the buy and the binge.

 

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#DearMsPaper is a fictional agony-aunt series that parodies readers, critics, and writers in the African literary scene. If you have specific questions you’d like me to address, send to brittlepaper@gmail.com

To read more #DearMsPaper posts: click here.

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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.

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