Boston, MA, October 09, 2009 --(PR.com
)-- What happens when a motley crew of global nomad Nigerian, Japanese, German and Chinese protagonists refuse to live the tyranny of typecast realities?
British/Nigerian author Mogbolahan Koya-Oyagbola confronts the reader with a kaleidoscope of alternate realities in Some White English Women I’ve Almost Known (248 pp., tpb, $13.99 USD), a collection of fourteen short stories and five poems about exile. Koya-Oyagbola, whose work was previously featured in the 2008 Nigerian fiction anthology The Weaverbird Collection says, “I wanted to write gritty stories about real people so I steered clear of the ghosts and ghouls stuff of fantasy expected of the African writer.”
Sefi Atta, award winning author of Everything Good Will Come, concludes that, “Koya-Oyagbola cuts through the under-explored territory of middle class Nigerians in this audacious, globetrotting debut about straying father and aimless sons.” Given that the author is the product of an impressive middle class family, his choice of themes is not surprising. He is the youngest of four sons to a barrister father. Now a retired ambassador, his mother studied to be a company secretary (the MBA qualification of its day) and was Nigeria’s first woman cabinet level minister.
Some White English Women I’ve Almost Known covers much ground, from a nostalgic look at the travails of life as a struggling England based Nigerian university student in the first story “Some White English Women I’ve Almost Known” which the collection is named after, to “Countdown,” in which a suicidal Japanese woman forms a precarious bond with her equally psychically fragile Nigerian teacher. The sweeping span of “Mr Isaiah” covers a period of two decades of middle class decline through the reminiscences of its narrator. Incumbent fragility which accompanies absolute surrender to love is explored in the poem “Odysseus to Penelope Queen of Ithaca” while in the elegiac “Fade to Black” the protagonist struggles to choose between the serenity of the predictable single life and the excitement and uncertainty which are part and parcel of relationships.
Koya-Oyagbola says of the blending of short stories and poems in this collection, “There is a continuity of theme if not of literary form which will appeal to poetry and fiction lovers alike.” The well-travelled author started writing at the age of 14. Born to overachieving parents Koya-Oyagbola spent much of his life shielding himself from Nigerian public curiosity. At the age of 39 he has come out of the shadows to publish this collection which probes unabashedly, the inherent disappointments that lie within interconnected expectations and rigid middle class preoccupations in a globalised world.
Mogbolahan Koya-Oyagbola works as a freelance Business English language teacher in Munich. He graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy from University College London and an M.A. in Modernism and Modern Writing from Royal Holloway University of London. In addition to keeping a blog, he is currently marketing this collection, editing a screenplay about expatriate life in Japan and learning German in readiness to enrol as a PhD candidate on a Linguistics degree course at a German university. To order copies of his book, read his blog or take a look at his youtube channel, go to his website at www.mogbolahankoya-oyagbola.com/.
Author – Some White English Women I’ve Almost Known
To arrange book signings or interviews, contact author at email@example.com