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Blackass - A. Igoni Barrett

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Title
Blackass
Author
A. Igoni Barrett
format
Paperback / softback
Publisher
Chatto & Windus
Language
English
UK Publication Date
20150709

'A devastating social parable brimming with humanity and heart...'
Marlon James



White skin, green eyes, red hair...


Furo Wariboko - born and bred in Lagos - wakes up on the morning of his job interview to discover he has turned into a white man. As he hits the city streets running, still reeling from his new-found condition, Furo finds the dead ends of his life open out before him. As a white man in Nigeria, the world is seemingly his oyster - except for one thing: despite his radical transformation, Furo's ass remains robustly black . . .

Funny, fierce, inventive and daringly provocative - this is a very modern satire, with a sting in the tail.

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A. Igoni Barrett was born in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, in 1979 and lives in Lagos. He is a winner of the 2005 BBC World Service short story competition, the recipient of a Chinua Achebe Center Fellowship, a Norman Mailer Center Fellowship, and a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Residency. His short story collection, Love is Power, or Something Like That, was published in 2013. In 2014 he was named on the Africa39 list of sub-Saharan African writers under 40. Blackass is his first novel.

It is the funniest, most engaging badass book I've read in years. You should read this book and enjoy freshly minted scintillating prose rioting with each other - it is a lush canvas of ideas, humor and vision. Blackass is fresh, contemporary writing without even trying; this is how fiction should be written in the 21st century.
Whats On Africa, Royal African Society

Gripping... This is a memorable, richly allusive story, skillfully interweaving thoughts from Kafka to the poet Elizabeth Bishop. Barrett probes not only the surface but the depths of who we are
Observer - Anita Sethi

Wonderfully imagined, and very funny… a dazzling first novel by one of Africa's best young writers
The Times - Kate Saunders

As well as being a fable about race and identity, Blackass is in large part a love letter to Lagos… For Barrett, race is inevitably one part of a person's identity, but it is one that asserts itself principally through the eyes of others, through how they "read" those they encounter. People will inevitably discuss this book, and Barrett's work in general, in the context of a resurgent Nigerian literary scene that includes writers such as Teju Cole, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Helon Habila. But, to read him only as a Nigerian writer would be to do him a disservice. For Blackass is a strange, compelling novel, and Barrett has something to tell us all.
Financial Times - Jon Day

A bold riff on Kafka's Metamorphosis... Igoni Barrett's greatest asset is his ability to satirise the ridiculous extents people, especially Lagosians, go to in order to appear important. His characters' every foible is captured and amplified for effect.
Guardian - Helon Habila

Type
BOOK
Keyword Index
Lagos (Nigeria) - Fiction.
Country of Publication
England
Number of Pages
262

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