Skip to main content


More Fire

Kwasi woke up somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean. What time was it? He looked out the window for a sign of land but there was only blackness and wisps of gray. The boy in the aisle seat who had fallen asleep on his shoulder woke up and looked blankly at him. He looked like he could have been Kwasi’s son. They had the same high cheekbones, the same sleepy, almond-shaped eyes. The boy’s head weighed on him like a great stone, but in the moment, Kwasi felt thankful for it. “It’s okay,” he said. “Go back to sleep.”

The Road to the Country

May 14, 2015

To get to the country, make sure your car is in good shape.
You must fill your tank with gas and carry more in a cask.
Take enough food, medicine, clothes, water, a mat, and a blanket.

Olivia Mueller

The Summer of Ice Cream

About a year before the summer of ice cream began, my father called Tayo and me into the living room and told us that he would be leaving his job at the Kodak plant in Salt Lake City. He asked us to sit on the couch and he sat down next to us, and then he stood up and sat down again.

Fishermen [private]

We were fishermen.

Father first called us so after he whipped us sore for fishing at the Ala stream in the summer of May 1995. Earlier that year, the bank had transferred him from our hometown of Akure to Yola, a volatile and violence-prone city in the north of Nigeria. Father wouldn't move us with him so he lived apart and visited only once in two weeks, always coming at midnight on Fridays and disappearing at dawn on Sundays. Each time he returned, mother would detail how the house had fared in his absence—a breakdown of home needs and how they were met, of whom she had borrowed from, of our school reports, of the church, of street happenings (like the thief lynched by the mob, his horrifying scream as the fire engulfed him). She remembered everything, and we often joked that if she'd been schooled, she would have made a great historian.

Say You’re One of Them

October 5, 2009

The first short story collection by the promising Uwem Akpan doesn’t so much celebrate the form as it does the success of gimmickry.

The Fire: The Price of Oil in Africa

Nigeria should be a massively rich country. It’s the most populous nation in Africa and the world’s sixth leading oil producer. Over a quarter trillion dollars in oil has been lifted from Nigerian soils and waters in the last four decades. But after years of military rule and rampant corruption, fueled by these oil monies, the country is mired in billions of dollars in debt and is wracked by poverty.

A Private Experience

Chika climbs in through the store window first and then holds the shutter as the woman climbs in after her. The store looks like it was deserted long before the riots started; the empty rows of wooden shelves are covered in yellow dust, as are the metal paint containers stacked in a corner.