Oil on Water

Oil on Water

By Helon Habila

W. W. Norton & Company, Paperback, 9780393339642, 239pp.

Publication Date: May 2011

In the oil-rich and environmentally devastated Nigerian Delta, the wife of a British oil executive has been kidnapped. Two journalists a young upstart, Rufus, and a once-great, now disillusioned veteran, Zaq are sent to find her. In a story rich with atmosphere and taut with suspense, Oil on Water explores the conflict between idealism and cynical disillusionment in a journey full of danger and unintended consequences. As Rufus and Zaq navigate polluted rivers flanked by exploded and dormant oil wells, in search of the white woman, they must contend with the brutality of both government soldiers and militants. Assailed by irresolvable versions of the truth about the woman's disappearance, dependent on the kindness of strangers of unknowable loyalties, their journalistic objectivity will prove unsustainable, but other values might yet salvage their human dignity.

About the Author
Helon Habila is the internationally renowned author of Waiting for an Angel, which won both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Caine Prize for African Writing, and Measuring Time and Oil on Water. He was born in Nigeria and now divides his time between America and Nigeria.