Nigerian novelist Elnathan John’s forthcoming book is the satirical commentary you want to read ahead of Nigeria’s February 16 elections. Portraying “the different Nigerians you are likely to meet at home and abroad, on your way to heaven or to hell,” Be(com)ing Nigerian:
A Guide “moves between the sublime and the ridiculous, and deftly captures both the hilarity and the horror of Nigeria,” offering a sharply observed, nuanced, laugh-out-loud understanding of a country of 190 million people, from its “religious hypocrisy to the pragramatic nature of ‘Nigerian love.'” The book will be published by Cassava Republic, in Nigeria on 6 February 2019 and in Europe on 11 July.
In an email to Brittle Paper, Cassava Republic publicity assistant Kofo Okunola described the book as “a searing and darkly entertaining look at how power operates in private and in public; in politics, business, religious institutions and in homes,” one that is “a summons, a provocation and a call for introspection among all levels of society.”
Among the book’s cast are the Mechanic, the Religious Leader, the Wannabe Writer, the Professional Kidnapper, the Journalist, and the Lover. It further offers ways through which one can be Nigerianized, “from how to attain the much-maligned but heady rank of politician to achieving the status of the silver-tongued, private jet-flying religious leader, or the mechanic who would only work with a certain type of woman for the sake of his own professional survival.”
A Guide is Elnathan John’s second book. His debut, the novel Born on a Tuesday, won a Betty Trask Award. He is currently one of the judges for the 2019 Man Booker International Prize.
Pre-order the book on Cassava Republic’s website.