Gavin F (gavluvsga) wrote in 50bookchallenge,
Gavin F

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Book #12: Looking for Transwonderland: Travels in Nigeria by Noo Saro-Wiwa

Noo Saro Wiwa is the daughter of Ken Saro Wiwa, a Nigerian politician who died in 1995, and was raised in London. This book recounts how she visited the country of her family's heritage, and describes all of the places she visited in meticulous detail. The Transwonderland of the title refers to a Disneyland-type theme park that is mentioned early on in the book.

Right from the start, I was fascinated by how the book describes life in Nigeria, talking about the crowds in Lagos, as well as the hawkers and people setting up makeshift mosques underneath the flyovers. As I read the book, I got a sense that it was getting more emotional, particularly with the author's account of returning to where she lived as a young child, in Port Harcourt, and visits her parents' house.

A lot of the book is spent discussing Nigeria's political situation, and there is also a lot of speculation about how the country is likely to develop in the next 20 or so years, but the best parts were how the author interacted with others, including people who asked why she did not have a Nigerian accent, and even wanted her to return to Nigeria permanently or get baptised.

For anyone who is interested in learning about another culture, this is definitely a recommended book; I loved the vivid picture that it painted for me of life in Nigeria.

Next book: The Plague Dogs (Richard Adams)
Tags: 1001 books to read before you die, africa, around the world in 100 books, autobiography, book review, human spirit, non-fiction, politics

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