J.M.G. Le Clezio Onitsha

ISBN 13: 9780803279667

Onitsha

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Onitsha tells the story of Fintan, a youth who travels to Africa in 1948 with his Italian mother to join the English father he has never met. Fintan is initially enchanted by the exotic world he discovers in Onitsha, a bustling city prominently situated on the eastern bank of the Niger River. But gradually he comes to recognize the intolerance and brutality of the colonial system. His youthful point of view provides the novel with a notably direct, horrified perspective on racism and colonialism. In the words of translator Alison Anderson, Onitsha is remarkable for its “almost mythological evocation of local history and beliefs.” It is full of atmosphere―sights, sounds, smells ―and at times the author’s sentences seem to flow with the dreamy languor of the river itself. But J. M. G. Le Clézio “never lets us forget the harsh realities of life nor the subsequent tragedy of war.” A startling account―and indictment―of colonialism, Onitsha is also a work of clear, forthright prose that ably portrays both colonial Nigeria and a young boy’s growing outrage.

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"Le Clzio gives an admirably full portrait of day-to-day life in Africa, from animistic religions, to food, to street festivals. And his presentation of the last queen of Mero and her search for a promised land gives an epic frame to the continental vision he presents."-Boston Book Review

"[Onitsha] offers a compelling contrast between the white mistreatment of Africans and the occasionally dangerous natural beauty surrounding the village of Onitsha on the banks of the Niger River. Fintan never forgets the harsh facts of his childhood years, and readers will not forget this novel."-Library Journal

"Onitsha also includes a scathing critique of colonialism, through the voice of Maou, who increasingly speaks out against the ways the white masters treat the locals. . . . Le Clzio's writing always moves back toward the richness and the responsibilities of the present, highlighting the necessity of undergoing a veritable apprenticeship enabling one to experience the present fully. His fiction, whose scenes and details usually stand at only a slight remove from the facts of his own life, is thereby warmly personal in tone and thoroughly credible in effect."-Michigan Quarterly Review

"Once again J. M. G. Le Clezio, a novelist fascinated by the non-Western and an anthropologist respecting the Other, takes readers to a site that destroys Westerners; that is, the site either encourages their most egregious exploitative colonialism or puts them in the thrall of difference. The latter happens when the new non-Western environment casts a spell severing the Westerners from their own kind but keeping a barrier between them and the natives. . . . An expertly managed piece of professional fiction-writing, but a little hard to take seriously."-Marilyn Gaddis Rose, World Literature Today

"An uncharacteristically accessible and dramatic narrative about Europeans in Africa from one of the avatars of the French New Wave novel. . . . Fintan's fascinated absorption into Onitsha's tribal culture, described with irresistible sensuous immediacy, is expertly counterpointed against his father's self-destructive obsession with Africa's legendary past-and convincingly motivates a criticism of the injustices of white colonialism that is all the more powerful for its seamless coexistence with a richly imagined story and consistently engaging characters. The most surprising work of Le Clzio's long career, and one of his best."-Kirkus

Review:

http://www.thomasriggs.net/blog/index.php/2009/11/eyes-on-the-prize/ (Thomas Riggs & Co blog)

“An uncharacteristically accessible and dramatic narrative about Europeans in Africa from one of the avatars of the French New Wave novel. . . . Fintan’s fascinated absorption into Onitsha’s tribal culture, described with irresistible sensuous immediacy, is expertly counterpointed against his father’s self-destructive obsession with Africa’s legendary past―and convincingly motivates a criticism of the injustices of white colonialism that is all the more powerful for its seamless coexistence with a richly imagined story and consistently engaging characters. The most surprising work of Le Clézio’s long career, and one of his best.”―Kirkus
(Kirkus)

“[Onitsha] offers a compelling contrast between the white mistreatment of Africans and the occasionally dangerous natural beauty surrounding the village of Onitsha on the banks of the Niger River. Fintan never forgets the harsh facts of his childhood years, and readers will not forget this novel.”―Library Journal (Library Journal)

Onitsha also includes a scathing critique of colonialism, through the voice of Maou, who increasingly speaks out against the ways the white masters treat the locals. . . . Le Clézio’s writing always moves back toward the richness and the responsibilities of the present, highlighting the necessity of undergoing a veritable apprenticeship enabling one to experience the present fully. His fiction, whose scenes and details usually stand at only a slight remove from the facts of his own life, is thereby warmly personal in tone and thoroughly credible in effect.”―Michigan Quarterly Review (Michigan Quarterly Review)

“Le Clézio gives an admirably full portrait of day-to-day life in Africa, from animistic religions, to food, to street festivals. And his presentation of the last queen of Meroë and her search for a promised land gives an epic frame to the continental vision he presents.”―Boston Book Review (Boston Book Review)

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9782070387267: Onitsha (Collection Folio)

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ISBN 10:  2070387267 ISBN 13:  9782070387267
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Softcover

9780803229150: Onitsha

Univer..., 1997
Hardcover

9780320070389: Onitsha (Nobel Prize Literature 2008) (French Edition)

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9788129109392: Onitsha

Rupa &..., 2006
Softcover

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Book Description University of Nebraska Press, United States, 1997. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Onitsha tells the story of Fintan, a youth who travels to Africa in 1948 with his Italian mother to join the English father he has never met. Fintan is initially enchanted by the exotic world he discovers in Onitsha, a bustling city prominently situated on the eastern bank of the Niger River. But gradually he comes to recognize the intolerance and brutality of the colonial system. His youthful point of view provides the novel with a notably direct, horrified perspective on racism and colonialism. In the words of translator Alison Anderson, Onitsha is remarkable for its almost mythological evocation of local history and beliefs. It is full of atmosphere-sights, sounds, smells -and at times the author s sentences seem to flow with the dreamy languor of the river itself. But J. M. G. Le Clezio never lets us forget the harsh realities of life nor the subsequent tragedy of war. A startling account-and indictment-of colonialism, Onitsha is also a work of clear, forthright prose that ably portrays both colonial Nigeria and a young boy s growing outrage. Seller Inventory # AAJ9780803279667

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Book Description University of Nebraska Press, United States, 1997. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Onitsha tells the story of Fintan, a youth who travels to Africa in 1948 with his Italian mother to join the English father he has never met. Fintan is initially enchanted by the exotic world he discovers in Onitsha, a bustling city prominently situated on the eastern bank of the Niger River. But gradually he comes to recognize the intolerance and brutality of the colonial system. His youthful point of view provides the novel with a notably direct, horrified perspective on racism and colonialism. In the words of translator Alison Anderson, Onitsha is remarkable for its almost mythological evocation of local history and beliefs. It is full of atmosphere-sights, sounds, smells -and at times the author s sentences seem to flow with the dreamy languor of the river itself. But J. M. G. Le Clezio never lets us forget the harsh realities of life nor the subsequent tragedy of war. A startling account-and indictment-of colonialism, Onitsha is also a work of clear, forthright prose that ably portrays both colonial Nigeria and a young boy s growing outrage. Seller Inventory # AAJ9780803279667

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