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Taduno's Song: A Novel
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Published:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group 2017
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Description
A stunning debut from a new voice in Nigerian literature: a mesmerizing, Kafkaesque narrative, informed by the life of musical superstar Fela Kuti.
The day a stained brown envelope arrives from Lagos, the exiled musician Taduno knows that the time has come to return home. Arriving back in Nigeria full of hope, he soon discovers that his people no longer recognize or remember him or his music, and that his girlfriend, Lela, has disappeared, abducted by government agents. As Taduno unravels the mystery of his lost life and searches for his lost love, he must face a difficult decision: to fight for Lela or for his people. A stunning work of fiction, Taduno's Song is a heartfelt, deeply affecting tale of love, sacrifice, and courage.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
03/07/2017
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781101871461
ASIN:
B01GYPY88O
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Odafe Atogun. (2017). Taduno's Song: A Novel. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Odafe Atogun. 2017. Taduno's Song: A Novel. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Odafe Atogun, Taduno's Song: A Novel. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2017.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Odafe Atogun. Taduno's Song: A Novel. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2017. 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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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 19:35:01
Date Updated:
Dec 06, 2020 02:49:39
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Sep 19, 2021 12:14:43
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Last Grouped Work Modification Time:
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      • bioText: ODAFE ATOGUN was born in Nigeria, in the town of Lokoja, where the Niger and Benue rivers meet. He studied journalism at the Times Journalism Institute in Lagos and is now a fulltime writer. He is married and lives in Abuja.
      • name: Odafe Atogun
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publishDate
2017-03-07T00:00:00-05:00
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title
Taduno's Song
fullDescription
A stunning debut from a new voice in Nigerian literature: a mesmerizing, Kafkaesque narrative, informed by the life of musical superstar Fela Kuti.
The day a stained brown envelope arrives from Lagos, the exiled musician Taduno knows that the time has come to return home. Arriving back in Nigeria full of hope, he soon discovers that his people no longer recognize or remember him or his music, and that his girlfriend, Lela, has disappeared, abducted by government agents. As Taduno unravels the mystery of his lost life and searches for his lost love, he must face a difficult decision: to fight for Lela or for his people. A stunning work of fiction, Taduno's Song is a heartfelt, deeply affecting tale of love, sacrifice, and courage.
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Marlon James, author of the Man Booker Prize-winning A Brief History of Seven Killings.
      • content: "Burning with magic and loss, exile and return, beauty and heartache . . . A colossal epic disguised as a small novel."
      • premium: False
      • source: Chigozie Obioma, author of the American Library Association's top debut novel, The Fishermen
      • content: "A powerful, lingering fable. . . . Atogun presents us with a dreamlike vision of Nigeria chained to its past."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from January 30, 2017
        Uniting a retelling of the Orpheus myth, an indictment of totalitarian inhumanity, and a Kafkaesque meditation on identity within the spare language of fable, Atogun’s memorable debut novel testifies to the power of both oppression and art. Its protagonist, a musician known only as Taduno, runs afoul of the ruthless Nigerian government for stirring up the populace with his protest songs. Losing his famous voice as a result of their brutality, he goes into exile. Three months later, he receives a letter from his girlfriend, Lela, warning him that their homeland is changing dangerously. Deciding to reunite with her, Taduno returns to Lagos only to discover that no one recognizes him, all of the documents that prove his identity have mysteriously disappeared, and Lela has been abducted by the government in its attempt to gain leverage over him. Taduno realizes that the only way to regain his identity is to regain his voice. But his musical rebirth has an impossible cost: will he save Lela by singing for the government, or remain true to his people and his soul? Readers familiar with Nigerian political history or the country’s late musician-activist Fela Kuti will find echoes of both in the novel. But Atogan’s allegory, at once bleak and hopeful, needs no external glosses to speak clearly and powerfully.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        January 15, 2017
        Debut novelist Atogun delivers a fine, allusive challenge to the dictators who infest Africa--and the world.Taduno, "no last name, no address, just Taduno," is a musician in a strange land, where a letter from a lost love reaches him, pulling him back to Nigeria. He has been anonymous in that orderly place of winding streets and neat gardens. To his surprise, when he arrives in his homeland, from which he had exiled himself, he is anonymous there, too; even his oldest friends don't recognize him, though all agree that "he was a nice man who had lost his mind." As for his lost love, she has been detained, though the police sergeant whom Taduno calls on puts it more baldly than that: the government has kidnapped her for reasons that perhaps even its agents do not know, and even though Taduno protests that "arrested" is the better word than "kidnapped," Lela is gone. Now the goal is to find her but also to find his long-abandoned trove of guitars, find a voice grown so scratchy that the neighbors think it's coming from a ghost, and persuade the president to intercede. All of that is easier said than done, and, even as he winds his way through a weird bureaucracy full of post-adolescent technocrats and strong-arm cops, it forces Taduno to grapple with the big question: does he save his skin, or does he resist? It's a timely question for readers no matter where they may live, and though some of the events of Atogun's novel speak to the real-life travails of Nigerian singer Fela Kuti, the story has universal appeal as it broadens from Kafkaesque allegory to broader satire, the writing assured and controlled as it places Taduno at that existential crossroads at which he knows "that his redemption song would be a very short one." Not quite with the narrative power of Ngugi wa Thiong'o's Wizard of the Crow, yet, but a fine beginning to what we hope will be a fruitful career.

        COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        February 1, 2017
        Taduno, a Nigerian musician in exile from his troubled homeland, receives a cryptic letter from his old girlfriend Lela ( I don't know exactly what's going onnobody knows, she writes) that sets in motion a series of actions that will change his life, and the lives of those around him, forever. When he returns home to Lagos, he realizes that no one recognizes him, even though he remembers them and even though the only change to his appearance is a full beard. Instead, everyone agrees that he is simply a nice man who had lost his mind. Nor do they know where Lela is; they say she has been abducted by government agents. Atogun's smart and thoughtful tale is Kafkaesque in tone and said to be inspired by the life of the Nigerian musician Fela Kuti, a prominent opponent of the government. Atogun's ominous and cautionary fable on the themes of home, exile, identity, and the power of music is infused with anger, loss, and resignation as well as hope. A very impressive debut.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2017, American Library Association.)

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

        October 1, 2016

        When Nigerian musician Taduno returns home from exile, he finds himself unrecognized in an unrecognizable land and learns that his girlfriend has been abducted by government agents. He's got a tough choice: to battle the powers that be or save his true love. Recalling the life of celebrated musician Fela Kuti and the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, this debut novel from Nigerian author Atogun is stirring up international enthusiasm.

        Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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

        January 1, 2017

        For millennia, the intersection of love and politics has been the subject of great literature. In this beguiling debut novel, Nigerian writer Atogun augments the canon with a dreamlike parable of exile and homecoming. Once a prominent musician and performer, Taduno was forced into hiding when his lyrics became too critical of Nigeria's military dictator. But a letter from his lover, Lela, jolts Taduno out of his ennui. Retuning to Lagos, he discovers that Lela has been imprisoned and that he has been forgotten. Unrecognizable to his former neighbors and friends, Taduno walks the streets with his guitar, hoping that his mesmerizing music will speak for him where his words have failed. Not until he is recognized will Taduno have the power to negotiate with the dictator for Lela's release. Atogun's simple, direct prose is the perfect vehicle for the complex questions he poses. Should love for an individual take precedence over love of country? How much suffering does loyalty demand before we say enough? How far will one go before he can no longer compromise his ideals? VERDICT Nominated for a First Book Award for international writing in English after its release in the UK, this beautiful little book deserves a place on the shelf. Thoughtful readers will be enthralled. [See Prepub Alert, 9/12/16.]--Sally Bissell, formerly with Lee Cty. Lib. Syst., Fort Myers, FL

        Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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A stunning debut from a new voice in Nigerian literature: a mesmerizing, Kafkaesque narrative, informed by the life of musical superstar Fela Kuti.
The day a stained brown envelope arrives from Lagos, the exiled musician Taduno knows that the time has come to return home. Arriving back in Nigeria full of hope, he soon discovers that his people no longer recognize or remember him or his music, and that his girlfriend, Lela, has disappeared, abducted by government agents. As Taduno unravels the mystery of his lost life and searches for his lost love, he must face a difficult decision: to fight for Lela or for his people. A stunning work of fiction, Taduno's Song is a heartfelt, deeply affecting tale of love, sacrifice, and courage.
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