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Akhatenje

Dear Abubakar,
I love this book. I hate it too. I feel all manner of healthy and unhealthy things about Seasons of Crimson Blossoms. I also know the smell of cockroaches because I grew up in a house that smelled of giant cockroaches, thanks to the infestation from and at the neighbour’s house. Those damned insects never died, and they moved houses with us twice. The third time we got a liquid exterminator. Anyway, I am glad someone else knows how roaches smell.
I like how you italicise the English. It is a secondary language in Africa and belongs in italics. I love how you, like most Nigerian authors, put your people’s food in your stories without any apologies. Reminds me of the day I specifically told a Nigerian waiter to tell the chef not to put pepper in my food. He promised me that there would be no traces of pepper in my order but lo and behold my plate came with 10 times the fire it may have originally been intended to have. Spite? No. Making a point? Yes, the chef was just telling me that you guys love your food as it is and you will not spare us the details. No matter where! Out here we just write about tea, coffee and fries. Cause we so English-American!
I hate that you put books and writers in your book (my pet peeve) and I forgave you halfheartedly until I saw that god forsaken, pointless, mamafucker of a book, Life of Pi. I hate that book. And I hated it more whe ... Read Full Review

Dear Abubakar,
I love this book. I hate it too. I feel all manner of healthy and unhealthy things about Seasons of Crimson Blossoms. I also know the smell of cockroaches because I grew up in a house that smelled of giant cockroaches, thanks to the infestation from and at the neighbour’s house. Those damned insects never died, and they moved houses with us twice. The third time we got a liquid exterminator. Anyway, I am glad someone else knows how roaches smell.
I like how you italicise the English. It is a secondary language in Africa and belongs in italics. I love how you, like most Nigerian authors, put your people’s food in your stories without any apologies. Reminds me of the day I specifically told a Nigerian waiter to tell the chef not to put pepper in my food. He promised me that there would be no traces of pepper in my order but lo and behold my plate came with 10 times the fire it may have originally been intended to have. Spite? No. Making a point? Yes, the chef was just telling me that you guys love your food as it is and you will not spare us the details. No matter where! Out here we just write about tea, coffee and fries. Cause we so English-American!
I hate that you put books and writers in your book (my pet peeve) and I forgave you halfheartedly until I saw that god forsaken, pointless, mamafucker of a book, Life of Pi. I hate that book. And I hated it more when I heard Yann Martel explain it on the BBC World Book Club. That book was supposed to start and end in its last few pages, but we will talk about that when my ulcers are cured. I think that fiction authors who invoke other authors in their books are show offs. Plus can you believe I have all these Hemingway books in my house that I have never read? Chances are I will never read them now thanks to you and Binta.
I loved Reza. I don’t think you gave him what he deserved. Seriously Abubakar. Munkaila got what he deserved. Hureira too…maybe. But not that sexy Reza animal, who gave Binta what she deserved *wink*. The least you could have done was reward him with virgins in the afterlife. Why did you trick him with a nice cup of tea? He was the good kind of criminal! I fell in love with Reza dammit! You silently let Mallam Haruna get away with gossip and indirect murder. Let’s not even talk about the senator. You had mercy on a politician, but cast my Reza away like he was a nobody…sigh. Where is justice? And don’t tell me that such is life…
On a serious note though, this book is a great balance of the social, political and religious life in Nigeria and I got the insight I needed as an outsider. You did not force themes down my throat, which says a lot about your skill. Fa’iza’s sub plot is very important, especially in the African context, because we tend to blame supernatural elements for psychological problems that can be treated with something as simple as having someone to talk to about the trauma.
All in all, this is a great work of fiction. Congratulations.
Regards,
Akhatenje

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