When We Speak Of Nothing

Quotes from When We Speak of Nothing by Olumide Popoola

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Book Synopsis

Best mates Karl and Abu are both 17 and live near Kings Cross. Its 2011 and racial tensions are set to explode across London. Abu is infatuated with gorgeous classmate Nalini but dares not speak to her. Meanwhile, Karl is the target of the local “wannabe” thugs just for being different. When Karl finds out his father lives in Nigeria, he decides that Port Harcourt is the best place to escape the sound and fury of London, and connect with a Dad he’s never known. Rejected on arrival, Karl befriends Nakale, an activist who wants to expose the ecocide in the Niger Delta to the world, and falls headlong for his feisty cousin Janoma. Meanwhile, the murder of Mark Duggan triggers a full-scale riot in London. Abu finds himself in its midst, leading to a near-tragedy that forces Karl to race back home. The narratorial spirit of this multi-layered novel is Èsù, the Yoruba trickster figure, who haunts the crossroads of communication and understanding.

Publisher- Cassava Republic.

Quotes

“When we speak of nothing we don’t end the silence.”


“You couldn’t always pick up words to flourish the unsayable. It would be a waste. Too much. Sometimes moments had to be allowed to be themselves. To breathe or not, to be bearable or not. You couldn’t always change it.”


“Missing is still a presence”.


“..things have a way of unfolding at the worst moment.”


Reading Update: Page 57/296.

Èṣù is the narrator of the novel. This made me curious about reading this book. Especially after meeting she/he/them (Esú) in Lakiriboto Chronicles.

About Èsù

Èsù (They/She/He) are an important Òrìṣà in Yorùbá ancient religion known as Àṣẹ̀ṣe / Ìṣẹ̀ṣe. An excellent Administrator of justice, Police Officer in the pantheon of Deities and was gender queer. Èsù is the keeper of Ase. When other deities want to use supernatural powers, they have to borrow it from Esu, she/he is the keeper of supernatural powers. She/he is the universal police, so therefore she/he can’t be anyone’s permanent ally. Èsù is not the Christian devil as wrongly portrayed.

Find out more about this deity here

Two bookies on my Twitter timeline say they enjoyed reading this book. Yes, I’ve googled Mark Duggan. Books that’s shape their plots around significant socio-political events tend to take as reader through indepth exporations of human nature. I look forward to this. So far, the novel’s beginning has dragged on for me. But I’m optimistic.

What are you reading currently? Have you read about any Nigerian or Africa deities from any contemporary African literature? Comment below Gem.