BOOK REVIEW: The Prayer Of The Birds

Image: Journal de Montreal

With this second novel which risks shaking more than one, we can say that the Nigerian writer Chigozie Obioma is really taking off.

Modestly titled Fishermen , the first novel by Nigerian writer Chigozie Obioma was one of our biggest favorites of 2016. And we were obviously not the only ones to love it, since he entered the list of finalists for the Booker Prize. So what about this second novel, this time entitled The prayer of the birds ? Well ... in addition to bringing us back to the arid lands of Nigeria, it is also just a treat. Last year in the UK he was also one of the Booker Prize finalists!

The hidden face of Africa

But enough talk. Because to be able to grasp its essence, we must first specify that this book is completely off the beaten track.

You will discover it quickly enough by yourself in contact with its narrator, who would be the chi of a young chicken breeder named Chinonso Solomon Olisa.

Ever heard of chi? Welcome to the club ! From the first pages, it will however be clearly indicated that in the Igbo cosmology, chi is the spiritual being, the parallel identity which watches at all times over the host of flesh and blood whose life it shares.

So when this host one day prevents a pretty student from committing suicide from the top of a bridge, her chi will inevitably be in the front row to closely follow the very sad love story that will soon follow ...

A disturbing novel that allows us to travel far beyond the borders of reality without ever leaving the tragic fate of a man ready to do anything to please his beautiful.