Say You're One of Them is a wholly unflinching vision of Africa through the eyes of five children in five countries.
Akpan transports the reader into gritty scenes of chaos and fear in his rich debut collection of five long stories set in war-torn Africa. Akpan's prose is beautiful and his stories are insightful and revealing...
The humor, the endurance, the horrors and grace-Akpan has captured all of it... The stories are not only amazing and moving, and imbued with a powerful moral courage – they are also surprisingly expert... Beautifully constructed, stately in a way that offsets their impoverished scenarios. Akpan wants you to see and feel Africa, its glory and its pain. And you do, which makes this an extraordinary book.
Akpan's Africa is a messy violent place... and its innocent kids are what pull at our heartstrings.
[A] startling debut collection... [Akpan] fuses a knowledge of African poverty and strife with a conspicuously literary approach to storytelling, filtering tales of horror through the wide eyes of the young
‘Uwem Akpan writes with a political fierceness and a humanity so full of compassion it might just change the world. His is a burning talent.’
–Chris ABANI, author of The Virgin of Flames
An important literary debut... juxtaposed against the clarity and revelation in Akpan's prose -as translucent a style as I've read in a long while - we find subjects that nearly render the mind helpless and throw the heart into a hopeless erratic rhythm out of fear, out of pity, out of the shame of being only a few degrees of separation removed from these monstrous modern circumstances...The reader discovers that no hiding place is good enough with these stories battering at your mind and heart.