Stillborn by Oyeyinka
Narrated from the point of view of Seun, an orphan from the Niger Delta, Stillborn is not only a tale of turmoil and tragedy; desperation and despair; but also one of optimism and opportunity. It revolves around the lives of five characters: Seun, his mother Ranti, herself a girl of limited privilege; Seun’s lover, Aisha, a refugee from the religious clashes in the North; and Emeka from the South-east, a war deserter who becomes an unlikely hero. Their lives intersect in the residence of Dolapo, a civil rights lawyer from the South-west. And the five lives come together to paint a vivid picture of Nigeria since its infancy fifty years ago, meandering into the complexity of the lives and communities of present-day Nigeria. In the end, Stillborn traverses the various political epochs that have shaped Nigeria, and by extension, Africa in general, right from the pre-independence period and through the fears, frustrations, hopes and dreams that have characterized this fragile continent.