Suffers from the subordination of plot to its feminist message, but presents authentic perspectives on modern challenges in...

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Mirage of Afro-Feminism

Albert’s debut novel explores women’s roles in modern Nigeria.

This portrait of contemporary Africa sees feminism through characters including the director of an orphanage, a corporal/philanthropist from the United States who provides quiet but dedicated support to women’s causes, and a doctor who runs a women’s leadership organization. Secondary to its message is the novel’s episodic plot: a man brings his daughter to Mrs  Lawal’s orphanage; Mrs. Lawal and Dr. Hafsat meet American visitor Edna Shay, who travels to meet the orphanage’s largest donor; and Dr. Hafsat struggles with the political and practical challenges of developing female leaders and fighting corruption. At times the plot is set aside entirely, with multiple chapters devoted to speeches given at Dr. Hafsat’s meetings, which allows Albert to take a didactic approach: “The post-independence Nigerian women became hypnotized, and the perils of bad government transcended from state to community and to the family levels.” Although characters face many challenges, the book ends on an optimistic note, with a clear path forward for Nigeria if it embraces the possibilities offered by women’s full participation in civic life. Albert delivers dialogue with an apparently Nigerian flavor that is occasionally jarring: “Madam, the quietness of this place has charmed me so much that I developed a very strong dislike for Motor Park, my abode, overnight.” However, the perceived authenticity of the narrative voice is limited by characters’ tendency to provide acronyms for organizations they mention: “I am Bridget Shawn, the president of Females Perfoming [sic] Musicians Association of Nigeria (FPMAN).” The book is ultimately more successful as a polemic than as a novel, since the plot presents neither an overall conflict nor a resolution of all its elements. In his focus on the book’s message, however, Albert presents a coherent list of the problems currently facing Nigeria as well as a path forward that incorporates both men’s and women’s contributions to community success.

Suffers from the subordination of plot to its feminist message, but presents authentic perspectives on modern challenges in Nigeria.

Pub Date: June 26, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-5049-4385-7

Page Count: 116

Publisher: AuthorHouseUK

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2015

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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