Becoming Abigail

By Chris Abani
(Akashic Books, Paperback, 9781888451948, 119pp.)

Publication Date: March 2006

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Description
"Compelling and gorgeously written, this is a coming-of-age novella like no other. Chris Abani explores the depths of loss and exploitation with what can only be described as a knowing tenderness. An extraordinary, necessary book."--Cristina Garcia, author of "Dreaming in Cuban"
"Abani's voice brings perspective to every moment, turning pain into a beautiful painterly meditation on loss and aloneness."--Aimee Bender, author of "The Girl in the Flammable Skirt"
"Abani's empathy for Abigail's torn life is matched only by his honesty in portraying it. Nothing at all is held back. A harrowing piece of work."--Peter Orner, author of "The Esther Stories"
Tough, spirited, and fiercely independent Abigail is brought as a teenager to London from Nigeria by relatives who attempt to force her into prostitution. She flees, struggling to find herself in the shadow of a strong but dead mother. In spare yet haunting and lyrical prose reminiscent of Marguerite Duras, Abani brings to life a young woman who lives with a strength and inner light that will enlighten and uplift the reader.
Chris Abani is a poet and novelist and the author, most recently, of "GraceLand," which won the 2005 PEN/Hemingway Prize, a Silver Medal in the California Book Awards, and was a finalist for several other prizes including the "Los Angeles Times" Book Prize. His other prizes include a PEN Freedom-to-Write Award, a Prince Claus Award, and a Lannan Literary Fellowship. He lives and teaches in California.



About the Author
Chris Abani was born in Nigeria. At age sixteen he published his first novel, for which he suffered severe political persecution. He went into exile in 1991, and has since lived in England and the United States. His book "Daphne's Lot" is a collection of poetry for which he won a 2003 Lannan Literary Fellowship. His book, "Kalakuta Republic", is a collection of poetry based on his experience as a political prisoner in Nigeria, and received the PEN USA West Freedom-to-Write Award and the Prince Claus of the Netherlands Award.
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