by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani
Hyperion, New York, 2009
Borrowed from the library.
This is a book I picked up off the shelf at the library, having no idea what it was about. Sometimes I get lucky.
I Do Not Come To You By Chance is the story Kingsley, the eldest son, and his middle class Nigerian family. Corruption, crime and oil money are destroying the traditions of his culture and everything he has grow up to believe in is failing. When his university degree fails to land him a job, his uncle Boniface offers him work in a growth industry. Email scams.
My father was learned and honest. Yet he could neither feed his family nor clothe his children. My mother was also learned, and her life had not been particularly improved much by education. I thought about my father’s pals most of whom were riding rickety cars…about most of my university lecturers with their boogie-woogie clothes and desperate attempts to fight off hunger by selling over priced handouts to students. Yet Uncle Boniface –our savior in this time of crisis–had not completed his secondary school education..From page 151.
This is a wonderful first novel by a young Nigerian writer. Nwaubani write with compassion and biting humor and shows us a view of Nigeria from the inside. Ever wonder if those email scams work? This book seems to say they do.