South Africa's constitution, Botswana's economy and Nigeria's role in Africa all make Uzodinma Iweala's list.
Uzodinma (Uzo) Iweala 1st novel, Beasts of No Nation, came out of his undergraduate thesis work at Harvard and was conducted under the supervision of writer Jamaica Kincaid. Iweala, born in 1982, hails from Washington, D.C. and Nigeria.
Beasts of No Nation, received the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction, the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the Academy of Arts and Letters, the New York Public Library Young Lions 2006 Fiction Award, and the 2006 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. In 2007, Iweala was selected as one of Granta's Best Young American Novelists.
Iweala, born in 1982, hails from Washington, D.C. and Nigeria. Iweala's mother, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, is the former Finance Minister and Foreign Minister of Nigeria. Iweala, a graduate of Harvard University and the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, lives in New York City and Abuja, Nigeria.
Our Kind of People: A Continent's Challenge, A Country's Hope
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Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Harper (July 10, 2012)
Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 1 inches
In 2005 Uzodinma Iweala stunned readers and critics alike with Beasts of No Nation, his debut novel about child soldiers in West Africa. Now his return to Africa has produced Our Kind of People, a non-fiction account of the AIDS crisis every bit as startling and original. HIV/AIDS has been reported as one of the most destructive diseases in recent memory—tearing apart communities and ostracizing the afflicted. But the emphasis placed on death, destruction, and despair hardly captures the many and varied effects of the epidemic, or the stories of the extraordinary people who live and die under its watch.
Our Kind of People opens our minds to these stories, introducing a new set of voices and altering the way we speak and think about disease. Iweala embarks on a remarkable journey through his native Nigeria, meeting individuals and communities that are struggling daily to understand both the impact and meaning of HIV/AIDS. He speaks with people from all walks of life—the ill and the healthy, doctors, nurses, truck drivers, sex workers, shopkeepers, students, parents, and children. Their testimonies are by turns uplifting, alarming, humorous, and surprising, and always unflinchingly candid. Integrating his own experiences with these voices, Iweala creates at once a deeply personal exploration of life, love, and connection in the face of disease, and an incisive critique of our existing ideas of health and happiness.
Beautifully written and heartbreakingly honest, Our Kind of People goes behind the headlines of an unprecedented epidemic to show the real lives it affects, illuminating the scope of the crisis and a continent's valiant struggle.
This a web exclusive interview conducted with Uzodinma Iweala the 25 year old author of "Beast of No Nation" and it is part of "Charlie Rose Tomorrow" series.
of No Nation: A Novel
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Hardcover: 142 pages
Publisher: Harper; First Edition edition (November 8, 2005)
Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 5.3 x 0.7 inches
In this stunning debut novel, Agu, a young boy in an unnamed West African
nation, is recruited into a unit of guerrilla fighters as civil war engulfs
his country. Haunted by his father's own death at the hands of militants,
which he fled just before witnessing, Agu is vulnerable to the dangerous yet
paternal nature of his new commander.
While the war rages on, Agu becomes increasingly divorced from the life he had known before the conflict started -- a life of school friends, church services, and time with his family still intact. As he vividly recalls these sunnier times, his daily reality spins further downward into inexplicable brutality, primal fear, and loss of selfhood. His relationship with his commander deepens even as it darkens, and his camaraderie with a fellow soldier lends a deceptive sense of normalcy to his experience.
In a powerful, strikingly original voice that vividly captures Agu's youth and confusion, Uzodinma Iweala has produced a harrowing, deeply affecting novel. Both a searing take on coming-of-age and a vivid document of the dark face of war, Beasts of No Nation announces the arrival of an extaordinary new writer.