Book review: This House Is Not For Sale

It is a truth universally acknowledged that any Nigerian writer who ends up in the United States is still reeling from the after-affects of their vivid childhood. And EC Osondu is no exception.

EC Osondu

Granta Books, €22.50; ebook, €14.26

A graduate of Syracuse University’s creative writing programme, he is already well-known for his short stories - he won the Caine Prize For African Writing (aka “The African Booker”) in 2009.

This is his first published full-length novel. A slim volume, it tells, through the eyes of a young boy, the multiple stories of people — family, servants and hangers-on — who live in the household of his clear-sighted but tyrannical grandfather.

Grandfather is not a man to overlook the commercial possibilities inherent in other people’s misfortune, and whilst his feudal empire grows rich, it attracts a not-undeserved reputation for evil.

And sure enough the inmates’ stories meld together with gathering horror to describe in microcosm a society where anything is possible.


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