In the tradition of rich African storytelling that mixes myth with modernity, The Prophet of Zongo Street is a dazzling collection of stories that calls to mind Ben Okri and Chinua Achebe. Mohammed Naseehu Ali, the tradition's acclaimed new practitioner, offers up ten powerful and beautifully rendered tales. Set primarily on the fictitious Zongo Street -- a close-knit community of wonderfully quirky characters who hold tight to superstition, religion, and family -- these stories are anchored by the uproarious, the embarrassing, the poignant, and the rawest moments of life.
Peopling this street are unforgettable portraits of humanity: Suraju, Zongo Street's King Drunkard, whose extravagant scheme to make a buck leaves him contemplating the afterlife; and Kumi, the enigmatic Prophet of Zongo Street, who teaches a young boy to finally ask questions of his traditions and beliefs. Across the ocean, in the story "Live-in," we find Shatu, a maid on Long Island, who left Zongo Street for the promises of America, only to find herself lonely, separated from her family, and cut off from her community. In "Rachmaninov," the well-meaning Felix struggles with America's love of the exotic as he makes his way in New York City.
Desperately poor and whipped from one revolution to the next, the men, women, and children of Zongo Street nonetheless maintain their good humor and philosophic outlook, even as they question the very bedrock that underlies their modern culture. Confidently written and highly imaginative, The Prophet of Zongo Street heralds a new voice in international fiction.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Mohammed Naseehu Ali, a native of Ghana, is a writer and musician. A graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy and Bennington College, Ali has published fiction and essays in The New Yorker, the New York Times, Mississippi Review, Bomb, Gathering of the Tribes, and Essence. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.From Publishers Weekly:
Vivid images of African life and familiar snippets of expatriate life infuse this debut collection by a Ghana-born writer and musician. On the fictional Zongo Street in Accra, young children gather around their grandmother to hear a creation story from "the time of our ancestors' ancestors' ancestors" in "The Story of Day and Night." In "Mallam Sille," a weak, 46-year-old virgin tea seller finds soulful strength in marriage to a dominant village woman. Other stories take place in and around New York City, depicting immigrants struggling with American culture and values. A Ghanaian caregiver vows not to "grow old in this country" in "Live-In," while in "The True Aryan," an African musician and an Armenian cabbie competitively compare tragic cultural histories on the ride from Manhattan to Brooklyn, achieving humanist understanding as they reach Park Slope: "I looked into his eyes, and with a sudden deep respect said to the man, 'I'll take your pain, too.' " Several stories close in a similarly magical, almost folkloric epiphany, as when sleep becomes an attempt "to bring calm to the pulsing heart of Man" in "The Manhood Test." Ali speaks melodiously but not always provocatively in these tales of transition and emigration. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Amistad, U.S.A., 2005. Hard Cover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # 008501
Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97800605235411.0
Book Description Amistad Pr, New York, New York, U.S.A., 2005. Hard Cover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. In new, unread condition. Bookseller Inventory # 010406
Book Description Amistad, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0060523549
Book Description Amistad, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0060523549
Book Description Amistad, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110060523549
Book Description Amistad. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0060523549 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW6.0014455