Title Profile & Character Information

Say You're One of Them

Annotation
Uwem Akpan's first published short story, "An Ex-mas Feast," appeared in The New Yorker's Debut Fiction issue in 2005. The story's portrait of a family living together in a makeshift shanty in urban Kenya, and their attempts to find gifts of any kind for the impending Christmas holiday, gives a matter-of-fact reality to the most extreme circumstances--and signaled the arrival of a breathtakingly talented writer. "My Parents' Bedroom" is a Rwandan girl's account of her family's struggles to maintain a facade of normalcy amid unspeakable acts. In "FatĀ­tening for Gabon," a brother and sister cope with their uncle's attempt to sell them into slavery. "Luxurious Hearses" creates a microcosm of Africa within a busload of refugees and introduces us to a Muslim boy who summons his faith to bear a treacherous ride through Nigeria. "What Language Is That?" reveals the emotional toll of the Christian-Muslim conflict in Ethiopia through the eyes of childhood friends. Every story is a testament to the wisdom and resilience of children, even in the face of the most agonizing situations our planet can offer.

Awards
2009  Commonwealth Writers Prize
2009  Hurston/Wright Legacy Award
2008  Library Journal Best Books of the Year

GenreFiction
Domestic
Collection
Sociological
TopicsChildren
Families
Family relationships
African culture
Child prostitution
Muslims
Teenage boys
Violence
Human trafficking
Poverty
Homeless
Refugees
Religious conflict
Hardship
Brothers and sisters
Violence
Slavery
SettingKenya
Nigeria
Rwanda
Ethiopia
Benin