Chris Abani

By Annalisa Oboe and Elisa Bordin

Chris Abani


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-4720-2
  • Pages: 296
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £80.00
  • Published Date: February 2022
  • BIC Category: Contemporary Literature, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: post-colonial literature, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: from c 1900 -, Literature, LITERARY CRITICISM / African, LITERARY CRITICISM / Modern / 21st Century, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: poetry & poets, Literature & literary studies / Literary studies: fiction, novelists & prose writers
  • Series: Contemporary World Writers


This is the first full-length book on the work of 'global Igbo' writer Chris Abani. The volume dedicates a chapter to each of Abani's fiction books, the two novellas Becoming Abigail (2006) and Song for Night (2007), the three novels GraceLand (2004), The Virgin of Flames (2007), and The Secret History of Las Vegas (2014), which are read against the grain of Abani's most important essays and poetical production. By combining close readings and more theoretical reflections, this volume provides a significant insight for both scholars and students interested in the literature produced by the emerging African voices in the twentieth-first century, in the debate about human rights, and in general in how aesthetics is deeply linked with ethics.


'In their subtle and spacious analyses Annalisa Oboe and Elisa Bordin guide us through Chris Obani's diasporic topographies, researching in the author's aesthetic and ethical mesh a language of redemptive love. Through harrowing, sometimes carnivalesque, often grotesque, even freakish, figures, language reaches into humanity's darkness to counter the world's violence. Across the boundaries, bodies and borders of Abani's charged landscapes the spectres of colonised and subaltern worlds poetically resonate and unwind. Oboe and Bordin urgently engage us in the unsuspected folds of a migratory and mongrelised modernity that queers regimes of identity. "a map fading in the harsh sun". Categories, concepts and labels are shaken free from the restrictions of geography. Against the odds, the global souths, the marginalised and oppressed, permeate our cities with the overlapping complexity of love seeded in the violence of extra-ordinary lives: from Lagos to London, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.'
Iain Chambers, author of Postcolonial Interruptions, Unauthorized Modernities (2017)


1. Contexts and intertexts
2. Peripheral violence: GraceLand
3. Trafficking love, Becoming Abigail
4. No words for violence? Song for Night
5. For Los Angeles, with love: The Virgin of Flames
6. 'State' violence: The Secret History of Las Vegas
7. Critical overview and conclusion
Select bibliography


Annalisa Oboe is Full Professor of English Literature and Postcolonial studies at the University of Padua, Italy

Elisa Bordin is Assistant Professor of American Literature at Ca' Foscari University, Venice, Italy

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