Igoni Barrett’s debut book, From Caves of Rotten Teeth, was published in Nigeria in 2005, and a story from that collection won the 2005 BBC World Service Short Story Competition.
Love is Power, or Something Like That, Igoni’s second book, was published earlier this year in the US and the UK, where it has garnered much praise from writers and reviewers alike. The formidable Kenyan author Binyavanga Wainaina has described the book as his “favourite short story collection, ever,” and the O. Henry award-winning US author Carolyn Cooke, in a recent piece for Publisher’s Weekly, chose Love Is Power (alongside story collections by James Joyce, Isaac Babel, Franz Kafka, James Baldwin, and the winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature, Alice Munro) as one of “The 10 Best Short Story Collections.” The Booker and Nobel prize-winning South African author Nadine Gordimer also had this to say on reading Love Is Power:
“A. Igoni Barrett is a writer who has succeeded in making colloquial literature without seeking spurious attention by vulgar daring. Here is a reader’s entry to hearing on the page how contemporary communication, not only in his Nigeria, can be inventive. Love Is Power, or Something Like That is, to paraphrase its title: something alive, like that.”
MORE PRAISE FOR “LOVE IS POWER, OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT”
“[Love Is Power, or Something Like That] speaks to the conditions of the human heart, wherever it may be found. . . . Barrett’s stories transcend cultures, yet remain quintessentially Nigerian in the choice of characters and setting.”—The Africa Report
“Reading these nine short stories I was moved almost seamlessly between moments of laughter, uncomfortable empathy, repulsion, sadness and tenderness. Yet there is also something in the sometimes silent histories and geographies, the unfamiliarity of phrase or acronym, that also made me wrestle with the push and pull of my own disconnection and connection to these stories. . . . A. Igoni Barrett is a writer that makes you feel alive.”—Africa in Words
“A remarkable portrait of life in Nigeria. . . . Thoroughly lively. . . . Barrett’s stories don’t deliver pretty truths. The contemporary globalized culture of every day Africa he gives us seems quite messy and utterly convincing.”—Alan Cheuse, NPR, All Things Considered
“[Love Is Power, or Something Like That] pulses with an indomitable life force that is, by turns, tender and fierce. . . . [Barrett] captures lives full of yearning, striving, setbacks, and moments of joy. He’s a compassionate if unflinching writer.”—The Boston Globe
“A nervy and engrossing collection. . . . Barrett has a distinctive voice and vividly captures the restless energy of Lagos, one of the world’s fastest-growing cities.”—Chicago Tribune
“The violent, furtive and tender lives Barrett follows in this story collection provide moments of empathy amid wrenching drama and subtle comedy. . . . The resulting collection satisfies on numerous levels.”—Time Out New York
“Remember 2013 as the year when America was introduced to this young Nigerian author, because Barrett is a writer we can expect to see many more great things from”—Flavorwire, “2013’s Best Paperbacks (So Far)”
Farafina’s edition of Love is Power, or Something Like That is now on sale in selected bookstores across Nigeria. Specially autographed copies of the book are also available exclusively on Jumia, and these copies will be launched by Igoni in Abuja on Saturday November 2nd. The venue of the launch is Salamander Cafe and the time is 2pm.