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Uzodinma Iweala opens day one

01/11/2008  by kwlsguest  1 Comment

Iweala.jpgSo far, so good, on this first day of New Voices. Uzodinma Iweala slept
in, as one ought upon arriving from New York to the subtropics, and,
when I tracked him down buying a toothbrush in Fausto’s, wasn’t even
aware that he was running late. Uzo (pronounced Ooz-ah), it’s clear,
will fit in in Key West as well as he fits into the lustrous language
his first novel, Beasts of No Nation, is written in. The story of Agu,
a fictional child soldier in an unnamed African country, is told in the
first person in a sort of high-literary treatment of pidgin English.
Iweala’s articulate, impassioned reading from it held the audience
rapt, and his presence during the question and answer session which
followed was, by turns, charming, insightful, self-deprecating, and
richly literary. There’s a “newness” to his voice, I think, similar to
the sort of newness much-spoken of lately regarding Barack Obama’s
candidacy–that sense of a post-racial American identity, allowing a
less-burdened approach toward the future. It is utterly refreshing. –Arlo Haskell (Sand Paper Press), KWLS stage manager


One Response

  1. Chinyere says:

    Uzo’s “Beast Of No Nation” is captivating.The first time I read it, I did not have lunch and dinner till I finished it. I could not let it go till I was done with it. It is very surprising, the manner in which children could be misinformed and misused at an early age. To date, I have read it twice and I am on the third round. Keep it up, Uzo, as I wait for the next novel. Chinyere

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