- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Cassava Republic Press (3 July 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1911115456
- ISBN-13: 978-1911115458
- Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.3 x 21.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 267,379 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
When We Speak of Nothing Paperback – 3 Jul 2017
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'This smart novel with electric prose tells us what it means to be young, black and queer in London.' Elle Magazine 'Refreshingly original, energetic and ambitious storytelling. Popoola joins the ranks of the best of the powerful new voices invigorating both British and African fiction.' Bernardine Evaristo, author of Mr Loverman
About the Author
London-based Nigerian-German Olumide Popoola is a writer, speaker and performer. Her publications include essays, poetry, the novella this is not about sadness (Unrast, 2010), the play Also by Mail (edition assemblage, 2013), the short collection breach, which she co-authored with Annie Holmes (Peirene Press, 2016), as well as recordings in collaboration with musicians. In 2004 she won the May Ayim Award (Poetry), the first Black German Literary Award.Olumide holds a PhD in Creative Writing and has lectured Creative Writing at various institutions.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Revolving around two different narratives of two nearly inseparable friends, Karl and Abu both live in inner London but in 2011 when the English economy was tanking into a spiral and police killings of black people were being televised and blasted all over social media. Like many young people stuck in situations beyond their realistic control, Abu and Karl cannot necessarily escape the respective “messes” that they find themselves in. I found that this was as timely as writing a book can be. As a reader from the United States, this book directly relates to the dozens of lethal police killings across the country, as well as those across England. The book, in my opinion, is a primary source when analyzing the current political and demographic situations of ‘younger’ black men who find themselves between acting like children, and adulthood. This book will resonate with the current debates about monitoring of police actions, gentrification, and the cultural identity younger people face when mixing the cultures of their parents and their own. The book includes how younger generations are experiencing their own gender and identities through significantly intimate scenes, emotions, and character development.
A large number of chapters of the book take place in Nigeria and give commentary on the oil industries and markets that are absolutely ravaging regions of the country. I personally found this to be some of the most interesting parts of the book as it not only relates to Nigeria but to anywhere gas flaring and fracking are operating. This may also be a bigger narrative on climate change at-large, but I cannot say for certain if this was Popoola’s intentions.
Over all, a book that covers many contemporary conversations and discourses found in the news today and I haven’t felt so confident in giving a five-star review ever.