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And After Many Days: A Novel
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An unforgettable debut novel about a boy who goes missing, a family that is torn apart, and a nation on the brink During the rainy season of 1995, in the bustling town of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, one family's life is disrupted by the sudden disappearance of seventeen-year-old Paul Utu, beloved brother and son. As they grapple with the sudden loss of their darling boy, they embark on a painful and moving journey of immense power which changes their lives forever and shatters the fragile ecosystem of their once ordered family. Ajie, the youngest sibling, is burdened with the guilt of having seen Paul last and convinced that his vanished brother was betrayed long ago. But his search for the truth uncovers hidden family secrets and reawakens old, long forgotten ghosts as rumours of police brutality, oil shortages, and frenzied student protests serve as a backdrop to his pursuit. In a tale that moves seamlessly back and forth through time, Ajie relives a trip to the family's ancestral village where, together, he and his family listen to the myths of how their people settled there, while the villagers argue over the mysterious Company, who found oil on their land and will do anything to guarantee support. As the story builds towards its stunning conclusion, it becomes clear that only once past and present come to a crossroads will Ajie and his family finally find the answers they have been searching for. And After Many Days introduces Ile's spellbinding ability to tightly weave together personal and political loss until, inevitably, the two threads become nearly indistinguishable. It is a masterful story of childhood, of the delicate, complex balance between the powerful and the powerless, and a searing portrait of a community as the old order gives way to the new.From the Hardcover edition.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
02/16/2016
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781101903155
ASIN:
B010ZXQ9OW
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Jowhor Ile. (2016). And After Many Days: A Novel. Crown.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Jowhor Ile. 2016. And After Many Days: A Novel. Crown.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Jowhor Ile, And After Many Days: A Novel. Crown, 2016.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Jowhor Ile. And After Many Days: A Novel. Crown, 2016. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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      • fileAs: Ile, Jowhor
      • bioText: Jowhor Ile was born in 1980 and raised in Nigeria, where he currently lives. His fiction has appeared in McSweeney's Quarterly and Litro Magazine.

      • name: Jowhor Ile
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Tim Duggan Books
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title
And After Many Days
fullDescription
An unforgettable debut novel about a boy who goes missing, a family that is torn apart, and a nation on the brink

During the rainy season of 1995, in the bustling town of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, one family's life is disrupted by the sudden disappearance of seventeen-year-old Paul Utu, beloved brother and son. As they grapple with the sudden loss of their darling boy, they embark on a painful and moving journey of immense power which changes their lives forever and shatters the fragile ecosystem of their once ordered family. Ajie, the youngest sibling, is burdened with the guilt of having seen Paul last and convinced that his vanished brother was betrayed long ago. But his search for the truth uncovers hidden family secrets and reawakens old, long forgotten ghosts as rumours of police brutality, oil shortages, and frenzied student protests serve as a backdrop to his pursuit.
In a tale that moves seamlessly back and forth through time, Ajie relives a trip to the family's ancestral village where, together, he and his family listen to the myths of how their people settled there, while the villagers argue over the mysterious Company, who found oil on their land and will do anything to guarantee support. As the story builds towards its stunning conclusion, it becomes clear that only once past and present come to a crossroads will Ajie and his family finally find the answers they have been searching for.
And After Many Days introduces Ile's spellbinding ability to tightly weave together personal and political loss until, inevitably, the two threads become nearly indistinguishable. It is a masterful story of childhood, of the delicate, complex balance between the powerful and the powerless, and a searing portrait of a community as the old order gives way to the new.

From the Hardcover edition.
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Chigozie Obioma, The New York Times Book Review
      • content: "Ile creates an atmosphere of ominous tension and renders the grief of the family in restrained and moving language. He has a particular talent for reflecting the perfect details that make even a passing moment come to life."
      • premium: False
      • source: Binyavanga Wainaina, author of One Day I Will Write About This Place
      • content: "Jowhor Ile is a rare talent. This rich book is ripe with mood and full of love, masterfully written with the perfect emotional pitch. Nigeria has a new star."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        December 21, 2015
        Set in southern Nigeria, Ile’s debut novel pits the personal against the political in a slow-burning family drama. The year is 1995: university students take to the streets to agitate for better funding; NEPA, the country’s electric utility, can’t keep the grid juiced; the military government hangs nine dissidents. Yet in the swirl of postcolonial struggle, the Utu family has built a stable life of bourgeois respectability in metropolitan Port Harcourt, while keeping close ties to their ancestral village of Ogibah. One day, 17-year-old Paul Utu disappears. The novel rewinds to Ajie’s childhood, eventually finishing in the present day. It is through precocious Ajie, the youngest sibling, that we learn the Utu family history, from their tribe’s origin story and grandfather’s Christianization through the horrors of the Biafran War and into the mid-’90s. As quick-tempered Ajie comes of age, the novel depicts the contradictions of his mother’s Christianity, his father’s indefatigable liberalism, and their family bonds—all of which, already stretched thin between the old world and the new, are further strained by Paul’s disappearance. Though he occasionally burdens young Ajie with adult concerns that seem implausibly heavy, Ile hits the emotional register of childhood experiences, like the all-or-nothing satisfaction of following older kids in climbing a tree, or the searing heat of school humiliations. Agent: Sarah Chalfant, Wylie Agency.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from December 1, 2015
        A family reckons with the sudden, inexplicable disappearance of a child in this debut novel from a young Nigerian writer. On the eve of Ajie and Bibi's return to high school, their 17-year-old older brother, Paul, steps out to see a friend and doesn't return. The night passes, then another day. Paul, the well-behaved, exemplary student, has never disappeared before, and the household is thrown into turmoil. "Paul knows how dangerous the roads can be at night," murmurs his worried mother. Paul's father turns to the police, then radio and newspaper announcements. As the last person to see Paul before his disappearance, Ajie, the youngest child, is wracked with guilt that shadows his relationships with his sister, Bibi, and their parents. The story gracefully weaves back and forth in time from the siblings' early childhood to the present day in their Port Harcourt, Nigeria, neighborhood, and suddenly, every little thing is imbued with deeper meaning, made fateful through retrospect. "Things happen in clusters," Ajie thinks. And this was a year "of rumors, radio announcements, student riots, and sudden disappearances," a year where "five young men had been shot dead by the square in broad daylight." This is the world of Ajie and his family, a world Ile builds in rich, vivid details. But the disappearance of Paul remains the central driving question of the narrative. Where did he go? And was his disappearance fair play or foul? This engrossing novel, couched in poetic, evocative language, creates a suspenseful yet sophisticated narrative from the first page. Here are beautifully drawn characters grounded in the universal story of young Ajie discovering the world around him--a world recovering from the not-so-distant wars of the previous generations and their legacy, which still bleeds into present politics. A deeply rewarding novel that heralds the birth of a major new literary talent.

        COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        February 1, 2016
        Set in Nigeria in the late twentieth century, Ile's debut chronicles the life of the Utu family before and after the disappearance of their eldest son. On a sunny afternoon in the fall of 1995, 17-year-old Paul tells his younger brother, Ajie, that he is going to meet a friend and and then vanishes without a trace. Ile reveals the family dynamic through vignettes of the loving sibling rivalry between Paul, Ajie, and their sister, Bibi, and the struggles of their parents, Nne and Benedict, during the Biafran War in the 1960s. Though the Utus live in the city of Port Harcourt, their family comes from the village of Ogibah, where a greedy oil corporation is trying to bribe the citizens into letting the company build a pipeline across their property. Though the lack of a linear story can occasionally be jarring, Ile vividly evokes life in Nigeria at the end of the twentieth century and the plight of the people who navigate the sweeping changes and startling corruption while trying to go about their daily lives.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2016, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        November 1, 2015

        In this debut novel, a family has to grapple with the disappearance of their 17-year-old son in 1990s Nigeria.

        Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        February 1, 2016

        Paul, the eldest and favored son in the Utu family, is 17 when he disappears amid civil unrest in Nigeria in 1995, leading parents Bendic and Ma to question religion, 15-year-old sister, Bibi, to grapple with doubt, and 13-year-old brother, Ajie, to swell with guilt, as he was the last to see Paul alive. Chapters in this debut by Ile acutely portray the anxiety and fear of the Biafran War and the decades following by mixing Ajie's recollections of the years leading up to Paul's disappearance with his reflections of a country in turmoil. In their comfortable home in Port Harcourt, mischievous Ajie spars with Bibi while both siblings resent and respect Paul. Visits to their ancestral village of Ogibah remind the Utu clan of ongoing clashes between residents who either welcome or oppose the omnipresent oil company that has destroyed farms yet built schools and roads. Ile shares Ajie's emotional journey as he comes of age, spends five and then ten years abroad, and returns home upon hearing unexpected news of Paul. Meanwhile, visitors shy away; as one character says, "When misfortune befalls you, people secretly blame you." VERDICT Equal parts family mystery, government critique, and meditation on love and loss, Ile's telling words will appeal to anyone who enjoys a story well told. [See Prepub Alert, 8/31/15.]--Stephanie Sendaula, Library Journal

        Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        October 1, 2015

        In 2008, Nigerian-born Ile was invited to join a two-week writing workshop organized by novelist Chimamanda Adichie; here's his first novel. In Port Harcourt, Nigeria, 17-year-old Paul Utu disappears, and his parents and siblings are completely undone. Another example of the tremendous writing emerging from Africa today, with lots of in-house enthusiasm and a 40,000-copy first printing.

        Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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An unforgettable debut novel about a boy who goes missing, a family that is torn apart, and a nation on the brink

During the rainy season of 1995, in the bustling town of Port Harcourt, Nigeria, one family's life is disrupted by the sudden disappearance of seventeen-year-old Paul Utu, beloved brother and son. As they grapple with the sudden loss of their darling boy, they embark on a painful and moving journey of immense power which changes their lives forever and shatters the fragile ecosystem of their once ordered family. Ajie, the youngest sibling, is burdened with the guilt of having seen Paul last and convinced that his vanished brother was betrayed long ago. But his search for the truth uncovers hidden family secrets and reawakens old, long forgotten ghosts as rumours of police brutality, oil shortages, and frenzied student protests serve as a backdrop to his pursuit.
In a tale that moves seamlessly back and forth through time, Ajie relives a trip...
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