Books

Becoming Abigail

Genre: Fiction; Author: Chris Abani; Publisher: Akashic

Becoming Abigail, a spare yet voluptuous tale about a young Nigerian girl’s escape from prostitution is so hypnotic that it begs to be read in one sitting. Abigail, named for a remarkable mother who died while giving birth to her, lives with her grief-stricken father in Nigeria. When her malevolent cousin Peter offers to bring her to London to give her a better life, her father agrees. Upon her arrival, she’s tarted up and put to work. A lover of poems and maps ”that unrolled with all the crackling promise of a flying carpet warming up,” Abigail is sensitive, courageous, and teetering on the brink of madness. Effortlessly gliding between past and present, Chris Abani spins a timeless story of misfortune and triumph.

Originally posted April 5 2006 — 12:00 AM EDT

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