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9780374165895

GraceLand: A Novel

Abani, Chris

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In this dazzling debut by a singular new talent, the sprawling, swampy, cacophonous city of Lagos, Nigeria, provides the backdrop to the story of Elvis, a teenage Elvis impersonator hoping to make his way out of the ghetto. Broke, beset by floods, and beatings by his alcoholic father, and with no job opportunities in sight, Elvis is tempted by a life of crime. Thus begins his odyssey into the dangerous underworld of Lagos, guided by his friend Redemption and accompanied by a restless hybrid of voices including The King of Beggars, Sunday, Innocent and Comfort. Ultimately, young Elvis, drenched in reggae and jazz, and besotted with American film heroes and images, must find his way to a GraceLand of his own. Nuanced, lyrical, and pitch perfect, Abani has created a remarkable story of a son and his father, and an examination of postcolonial Nigeria where the trappings of American culture reign supreme.

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"A richly detailed, poignant, and utterly fascinating look into another culture and how it is cross-pollinated by our own. It brings to mind the work of Ha Jin in its power and revelation of the new."--T. Coraghessan Boyle

The sprawling, swampy, cacophonous city of Lagos, Nigeria, provides the backdrop to the story of Elvis, a teenage Elvis impersonator hoping to make his way out of the ghetto. Nuanced, lyrical, and pitch perfect, this is a remarkable story of a son and his father, and an examination of postcolonial Nigeria, where the trappings of American culture reign supreme.

"Abani's intensely visual style--and his sense of humor--convert the stuff of hopelessness into the stuff of hope."-- San Francisco Chronicle

"Extraordinary...This book works brilliantly in two ways. As a convincing and unpatronizing record of life in a poor Nigerian slum, and as a frighteningly honest insight into a world skewed by casual violence, it's wonderful...And for all the horrors, there are sweet scenes in Graceland too, and they're a thousand times better for being entirely unsentimental...Lovely." -- The New York Times Book Review

"To say that this is a Nigerian or African novel is to miss the point. This absolutely beautiful work of fiction is about complex strained political structures, the irony of the West being a measure of civilization, and the tricky business of being a son. Abani's language is beautiful and his story is important."--Percival Everett

Chris Abani was born in Nigeria. At age sixteen he published his first novel, for which he suffered severe political persecution. He went into exile in 1991, and has since lived in England and the United States. His last book, Daphne's Lot, is a collection of poetry for which he won a 2003 Lannan Literary Fellowship. He is also the recipient of the PEN USA West Freedom to Write Award and the Prince Claus Award. Abani lives and teaches in Los Angeles.

About the Author:

Chris Abani's fiction and poetry has been widely anthologized. His latest book, Kalakuta Republic, is a collection of poetry based on his experience as a political prisoner in Nigeria, and received the PEN USA West Freedom-to-Write Award and the Prince Claus of the Netherlands Award.

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Abani, Chris Author
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2004)
ISBN 10: 0374165890 ISBN 13: 9780374165895
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Book Description Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: "Gracelandis a grotesque, painfully hilarious look at the dark underground world of Lagos Nigeria, and it brings back vivid memories of an urban culture seemingly always on the verge of a complete societal breakdown. Chris Abani's riveting novel is an unrelenting focus on blight, squalor, savagery, and violence. It is a superbly written, structurally fascinating work and I found myself captivated by the hilarity of some of the scenes, often as I found myself on the verge of tears. It is a stunning debut by an immensely talented writer." --Quincy Troupe, author ofTranscircularity, Miles: The AutobiographyandMiles and Me "To say that this is a Nigerian or African novel is to miss the point. This absolutely beautiful work of fiction is about complex strained political structures, the irony of the West being a measure of civilization, and the tricky business of being a son. Abani's language is beautiful and his story is important." --Percival Everett, author ofErasure: A Novel "Chris Abani'sGraceLandis a richly detailed, poignant and utterly fascinating look into another culture and how it is cross-pollinated by our own. It brings to mind the work of Ha Jin in its power and revelation of the new." --T.C. Boyle, author ofDrop City. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0374165890

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Book Description Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux [2004]. SIGNED First edition. First printing. Hardbound. New in dust jacket. A pristine unread copy, very fine/very fine in all respects. SIGNED BY AUTHOR on title page. Comes with dust jacket protective wrapper. Smoke free. Shipped in well padded box. Opened only for the author to sign. 0.0. Signed by Author(s). Bookseller Inventory # CASE1-24

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