Mace Books Associates Limited, Lagos, in conjunction with Treasure Books Limited, Yenagoa, has released the revised edition of Camouflage: Best of Contemporary Writing from Nigeria, edited by Nduka Otiono and Odoh Diego Okenyodo. Described by Daily Trust newspaper as “an agenda-setting collection and a major milestone in the history of Nigerian literature only comparable to what Wole Soyinka’s Poems of Black Africa is to students and critics of African literature,” this revised edition of the anthology is coming fifteen years after the first edition was published in 2006.
The anthology which serves as a bridge between the “third” and “fourth” generation of Nigerian writers, boasts some of the most important names in African literature today as contributors. The 358-page mixed-genre anthology contains a total of 71 Nigerian writers including poets and short story writers. It is an anthology of who is who in postmodern Nigerian writing curated by some of the finest amongst the breeds. Some of the contributors include Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Helon Habila, Afam Akeh, Pius Adesanmi, Unoma Azuah, Chika Unigwe, Ahmed Maiwada, Uzor Maxim Uzoatu, Lola Shoneyin, E.E. Sule, Chiedu Ezeanah, Nengi, and Bina Ilagha, Uche Nduka, Maik Nwosu, and Obi Nwakanma, to mention but a few.
The present volume is close to the original version. However, this edition features a new cover; a new short story, “The Fate of Yala Street” by Ike Okonta; an extensively updated Notes on Contributors, and additional editing for errors. Sadly, some of the contributors have passed on in the intervening fifteen years. These include Pius Adesanmi, Nike Adesuyi, Adolphus Amasiatu, Halima Lawal, and Simeon Chibiko Nwakaudu. May their souls rest in power.
To celebrate the release, the editors and the publishers have outlined some activities geared towards promoting the anthology. The lined-up activities include online and physical book reading events, campus book tours, a special webinar to mark the release, and other marketing strategies intended to improve the readership of the anthology. According to the lead editor, Nduka Otiono, “The high demand for copies of the anthology necessitated a reissue, fifteen years after the first publication. As you can see, many of the contributors have gone on to become literary stars and legends in their own rights.” Otiono, a former General Secretary of the Association of Nigerian Authors, is a Professor of African Studies and English at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada.
“In the digital era, there have been calls to have the book available for online purchase in Nigeria and the diaspora”, explains Odoh Diego Okenyodo, a co-editor of the book, former Public Relations Officer of the Association of Nigerian Authors, and distinguished literary journalist and Development Communications Expert in Abuja, Nigeria, “We thought that just re-issuing the old anthology wouldn’t suffice, so we updated the work to add value to contributors and readers accustomed to digital books. Hence, both the paperback and the eBook are now available on Amazon, Kindle, Lulu, Okada Books, and other major platforms.”
The editors and publisher are deeply grateful to the contributors, readers, critics, and scholars all over the world who have kept faith in the book, and have encouraged the publication of an updated edition. “This has been a labour of love that is worth the huge personal financial commitment Diego and I have made to this project,” Otiono concluded.
BLURB FOR CAMOUFLAGE
Lacerating broadsides on Nigeria’s current polity rub shoulders with strikingly frank explorations of sexuality and with anguished commentaries on the state of the national soul (as one contributor puts it: “so this is how we wish to live?”)…Nigeria is the powerhouse of African literature and here, in Camouflage, is the evidence.”
— Chris Dunton, Professor of English and former Dean, Faculty of the Humanities, The National University of Lesotho, Roma.
“Nigeria’s new writers, delicate and declamatory, intimate and political, immediate and global, imagine themselves into voice in this rich volume. The words are tender, agitated, beautiful, shapely—and breathed directly into the ear. Read this collection to grasp the scope and sophistication of contemporary Nigerian literature, yes, but read it firstly for its pleasures.”
— Gabeba Baderoon, recipient of Daimler Chrysler Award for South African Poetry.
“Every now and again, there appears an anthology of creative writing that…boldly sets out to bring to visibility a body of writing that has not received the attention it deserves… By bringing these many voices into the clamorous conversation in these pages, Otiono and Okenyodo also bring into focus the triumphs and travails of contemporary Nigerian writing at a moment of national crisis and soul searching.”
— Harry Garuba, Nelson Mandela Fellow, W.E.B. Dubois Centre, Harvard University.
“For heightening our creative stage and pace with such compelling rhythms, these remarkable talking drums—Otiono and with the accompanying percussion of new Nigerian writers at home and abroad—not only deserve our standing applause and gratitude for this rare gift to be heard beyond our time and borders, but also a special lasting spot in the library of contemporary Nigerian/African literature.”
— Osonye Tess Onwueme, Distinguished Professor of Cultural Diversity and Professor of English, University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, USA.
* Afam Akeh * Adeiza Atureta * Ekene Atusiubah* Omale Allen Abdul-jab bar* Denja Abdullahi * Al-kasim Abdulkadir * Bolaji Adekeye * Wisdom Anierobi * Toyin Alli * Maryam Ali Ali * Felix Obi Abrahams * Pius Adesanmi * Nike Adesuyi * Chimanada Ngozi Adichie * Adolphus II Amasiatu * Amu Nnadi * Seyi Akinlolu * Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima* B. M. Dzukogi* David Diai * Amatoritsero Ede * Victor Ehikhamenor* James Eze * Chiedu Ezeanah* Ismail Bala Garba* Helon Habila* Kamar Hamza* Ogaga lfowodo * Nengi Josef Ilagha * Bina Nengi-Ilagha * Uduma Kalu * Victoria Sylvia Kankara * Toni Kan * Akeem Lasisi * Halima Lawal * Ahmed Maiwada * Mu’azu Maiwada * Razinat T. Mohammed * David Odinaka Nwamadi * Obi Nwakanma* Simeon Chibiko Nwakaudu * Uche Nduka* Angela Nwosu* Maik Nwosu * Nkechi Nwosu-igbo * Onyebuchi Nwosu *Uchechukwu G. Nwosu * Chinyere Obiobasi * Nonye Bethel Obiukwu * Sunday Enessi Ododo * Crispin Oduobok * Patrick Tagbo Oguejiofor * Tolu Gbenga Ogunlesi * Chux Okei Ohai * Sylvester Urdeen Omosun * Ernest Onuoha” Promise Okekwe * Onookome Okome * Pita Okute * Bolaji St Ramos* Lola Shoneyin * E. E. Sule * Benjamin Ubiri * Sumaila lsah Umaisha * Uche Peter Umez * Chika Unigwe * Uzor Maxim Uzoatu * Emmanuel Onyedi Wingate *
For interviews and further information, contact:
OTTAWA: Dr. Nduka Otiono <email@example.com>
ABUJA: Odoh Diego Okenyodo <firstname.lastname@example.org>