Tuesday, 12 June 2012

BOOK REVIEW: A Life Elsewhere

Life Elsewhere is a novel of unique class, flipping through pages I discover Segun is born a writer with words interlocking meaning and metaphor kissing frenchly with simile.

On this note, I made research to know what scholars were saying about his literary work. I found out Peter whitaker has enjoyed every drop of word, phrase, sentence and whole setting that made up the book.

A debut collection of short stories by the Nigerian-born, London-dwelling, Caine Prize-winning writer. His characters share a dread of cotangent and a pronouncing yearning to connect with their environs, to belong. In a world where boundaries of distance and geography are being superseded by barriers of suspicion and mutual incomprehension, belonging is not an easy trick to pull off. When the home you fled from is a place of danger and the refuge you have reached is a cold, confusing place, rejection is more likely than solace.

However, Segun gives us a vague idea  of lives lived against the grain, of individuals striving to adapt but unsure of what is demanded. It is indicative that we are properly informed directly as to the setting; He's has his humour clutch down literary vices knowing he's to create influence to his book rather than letting literature restrict his own creation.

the location emerges from incidental detail. Whether it is Canada, Europe or Africa, we share with the characters the certainty that we are ‘elsewhere’. ‘Monday Morning’, tells of a refugee family living in a seedy hotel, dreaming of luxury beyond their reach while their father, once a renowned chef, toils as a labourer. In ‘People You Don’t Know’, we share a couple of weeks with a teenager, sent abroad to stay with relatives following an unspecified scandal. ‘Arithmetic’ and ‘The Husband of Your Wife’s Best Friend’ are achingly authentic glimpses of middle-aged regret for the life not lived. Several stories are seen through the uncomprehending yet observant eyes of children, magnifying the sense of dislocacation and bewilderment.

"The range of these stories is impressive. They?re convincingly set in Africa, Asia, the Far East, North America and the UK. The situations described are varied and far from formulaic. Above all though, what impresses is the humanity and subtlety in Afolabi?s writing. He?s definitely a writer to keep a very close eye on."

Susan Tranter

"Peter and Susan understands Segun better because of his powerful use of literary devices he made use of, devastated characters beyond protagonist own wish because circumstances is ravaged wishes, dreams, survival and hope.". A life elsewhere is  a debut of where you had never been before, A whole new experience.


"Segun Afolabi has an unaffected style and he has genuine affection for his characters, adrift in a hostile world. A Life Elsewhere is a fine d├ębut from a writer of talent and promise."

Peter Whitaker

Caine Prize Award winner for Literature
Author: Segun Afolabi
Year: 2006
Publisher: Random House UK
Release date: April 24, 2007
Language: English

Research and Re-develop by Poetoby but originally Created by Peter Whittaker.

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