Say You're One Of Them

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Say You're One Of Them

by Uwem Akpan

Little, Brown And Company | September 18, 2009 | Trade Paperback

Say You're One Of Them is rated 3.1538 out of 5 by 13.
Each story in this jubilantly acclaimed collection pays testament to the wisdom and resilience of children, even in the face of the most agonizing circumstances.

A family living in a makeshift shanty in urban Kenya scurries to find gifts of any kind for the impending Christmas holiday. A Rwandan girl relates her family's struggles to maintain a facade of normalcy amid unspeakable acts. A young brother and sister cope with their uncle's attempt to sell them into slavery. Aboard a bus filled with refugees-a microcosm of today's Africa-a Muslim boy summons his faith to bear a treacherous ride across Nigeria. Through the eyes of childhood friends the emotional toll of religious conflict in Ethiopia becomes viscerally clear.
 
Uwem Akpan's debut signals the arrival of a breathtakingly talented writer who gives a matter-of-fact reality to the most extreme circumstances in stories that are nothing short of transcendent. 

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 384 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1 in

Published: September 18, 2009

Publisher: Little, Brown And Company

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0316086371

ISBN - 13: 9780316086370

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

Rated 1 out of 5 by from Depressing I found after struggling through this book, I was not the better for it. A very tough read. Every time I put this book down I felt I had wasted precious time. I really didn't see the purpose in writing this. I feel I have a lot of compassion but this did not stir me in that way.
Date published: 2012-04-11
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Dark and tough read This book is dark and disturbing. It left me with a sense of hopelessness and despair. Despite feeling perhaps enlightened to the situations that children in Africa may face, I wish I had not read this book. The description says it's about the "wisdom and resilience of children", which is exceptionally misleading. It makes the book out to sound like it has some sort of positive spin on the atrocities these children face, but the actual stories on the pages don't reflect this at all (other than perhaps "what language is that", but that's a stretch). Beyond that, the author rambles on about unnecessary details that drag the story down. Don't buy this book unless you enjoy reading about how cruel the human race can be to children and how little their lives and opinions are valued.
Date published: 2011-01-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Really Interesting As I read some of the stories it really hit home what happens in other countries. I see stories in the newspaper and on tv about social and political unrest and because we live here in canada don't really understand. "What Language is that" showed how much kids are kids, how they want to play with their friends but how all of the other stuff gets in the way , how religion and language and politics and adults can make it all so hard. Hard to understand why you can't just be a kid ."My Parents Bedroom made me cry, the mother trys to hide herself and the husband protects her to the best of his ability. The kids don't understand what is going on . The whole racial and religious persecution is horrible. The way the mother gives her life for her children and husband to live broke my heart.I don't know if there will ever be a time when this kind of brutality ends in parts of the world. This book was a real eye opener for me
Date published: 2011-01-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Children and War This book is comprised of 5 stories of various lengths. They all deal with children trying to grown up in Africa and some of the horrors they are being exposed to. Like children everywhere, they deserve a safe place to live and grow. With numerous civil wars and "ethnic cleansings" they have been exposed to and threatened with things that no child should every have to deal with. Mr. Akpan has presented the stories of these children in such a way that while the attrocities are clear, he has also shown compassion and even hope. I really can't do justice to this book without telling you in detail of each story, which would then go on for pages and pages.. I highly recommend that you get a copy of this book and read these stories for yourself. I had heard of some of the things that were happening, yet I really never stopped for long to think of how they would affect the children involved. Now I look at my children and say many words of thanks that they wake up every morning safe.
Date published: 2010-07-27
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Hard to get Through I was hoping for a lot more from this book. I found some of the stories rather boring. There were too many unnecessary details.
Date published: 2010-05-25
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Was expecting a bit more... This is a good book to keep in your bag for when you need to kill some time! It is divided into different stories. They are powerful and will remain with you for a long time, but there weren't any issues in this book that I had not encountered before...didn't really bring anything new to the table.
Date published: 2010-03-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from compelling amazing book. an eye opener. The author tells the five stories from the persepctive of the child involved. Very disturbing. This book will shatter you out of your dreamworld here in the Americas and let you know what is really going on in the world particularly Africa. The events are all ongoing or recent. The author has a keen mind of how a child would experience this which to my mind takes some talent. Seriously this can give you nightmares but must be read. We cannot remain complacent. I feel every teenager should have this as requried reading in Grade 9. This spoiled generation needs to know what time it is and count our blessings.
Date published: 2010-03-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Unbelievable I am speechless, these five short stories kept me thinking for days. I learned from past reads and history that Africa and similar poor countries went and are still going trought rough times. Nothing that we lucky us can even imagine. Reading this was sadening, I wanted to reach out and hold these children. It opened my eyes towards the reality of what other countries suffured and its citizens. I do recommend this book but mothers with children might find it hard, it leaves your heart sad. To the writter, this is making an impact, very well done.
Date published: 2010-02-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Recommended Reading A collection of 5 short stories as lived by children in Africa. The common theme in these conflicts are survival as we see these children live through poverty, child slavery, religious persecution & mass murder. This was not so eye opening for me, as it was disturbing, knowing that this was based on so much fact although deemed ficiton. IMO I think this shoud be required reading in high school.
Date published: 2010-02-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Sad Stories This book consisted of three different stories, which I found very sad at times. The way the stories were written was very good and seems to be consistent with what life can really be like in Africa. Each story told about the lives of poverty struck families in Africa. It made me realize how hard it must be to live in constant poverty and how desperate some people are to get out of the lives that God has given them. Good read.
Date published: 2010-01-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Incredibly amazing! This was my first Chapters purchase of 2010 and it was the perfect choice to start off a new year of good reads. This novel is actually a collection of short stories. The stories are absolutely amazing and I so loved reading each one of them. The extremely talented author manages to write through the voice and heart of children in a very convincing and powerful way. This is a fictional eye-opener. You will put down the novel feeling very blessed for what you have and suddenly aware of how much we have in this part of the world- and how much we take for granted every day. This will tug at your heartstrings and give you a powerful awareness of Africa and African people and struggles. This novel will likely have a powerful impact on your mindset when it comes to Africa and for that reason it is an education for both your heart and your mind. This was an official Oprah book club selection in 2009, and I found it to be very fun to watch her video blog after I finished each story to watch her comments. I recommend this to you and if you do happen to pick it up I'm sure that you will have nothing but good things to say about it and you will enjoy reading it as much as I did.
Date published: 2010-01-05
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Off to a poignant start Captivating even in the begingin of the book. Short stories, doesn't get into too much details. A bit challenging to read based on writting style quoting the dialect of the setting.
Date published: 2009-10-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Gripping but leaves important facts out Well written, an awareness of children's sufferings that the most of us push to the backs of our minds as seemingly impossible - but the stories only lead up to possible situations, always left for you to detmine what happens next, which is sad when I think for us to truely understand the childrens' desperate futures, we need to know the full truth.
Date published: 2009-10-07

– More About This Product –

Say You're One Of Them

Say You're One Of Them

by Uwem Akpan

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 384 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1 in

Published: September 18, 2009

Publisher: Little, Brown And Company

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0316086371

ISBN - 13: 9780316086370

About the Book

Each story in this jubilantly acclaimed collection pays testament to the wisdom and resilience of children, even in the face of the most agonizing circumstances. A family living in a makeshift shanty in urban Kenya scurries to find gifts of any kind for the impending Christmas holiday. A Rwandan girl relates her family's struggles to maintain a facade of normalcy amid unspeakable acts. A young brother and sister cope with their uncle's attempt to sell them into slavery. Aboard a bus filled with refugees-a microcosm of today's Africa-a Muslim boy summons his faith to bear a treacherous ride across Nigeria. Through the eyes of childhood friends the emotional toll of religious conflict in Ethiopia becomes viscerally clear.

From the Publisher

Each story in this jubilantly acclaimed collection pays testament to the wisdom and resilience of children, even in the face of the most agonizing circumstances.

A family living in a makeshift shanty in urban Kenya scurries to find gifts of any kind for the impending Christmas holiday. A Rwandan girl relates her family's struggles to maintain a facade of normalcy amid unspeakable acts. A young brother and sister cope with their uncle's attempt to sell them into slavery. Aboard a bus filled with refugees-a microcosm of today's Africa-a Muslim boy summons his faith to bear a treacherous ride across Nigeria. Through the eyes of childhood friends the emotional toll of religious conflict in Ethiopia becomes viscerally clear.
 
Uwem Akpan's debut signals the arrival of a breathtakingly talented writer who gives a matter-of-fact reality to the most extreme circumstances in stories that are nothing short of transcendent. 

About the Author

Uwem Akpan was born in Ikot Akpan Eda in southern Nigeria. After studying philosophy and English at Creighton and Gonzaga universities, he studied theology for three years at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa. He was ordained as a Jesuit priest in 2003 and received his MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan in 2006. "My Parents' Bedroom," a story from his short story collection, Say You're One of Them, was one of five short stories by African writers chosen as finalists for The Caine Prize for African Writing 2007. Say You're One of Them won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book (Africa Region) 2009 and PEN/Beyond Margins Award 2009, and was finalist for the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction. In 2007, Akpan taught at a Jesuit college in Harare, Zimbabwe. Now he serves at Christ the King Church, Ilasamaja-Lagos, Nigeria.

Editorial Reviews

"An important literary debut.... The reader discovers that no hiding place is good enough with these stories battering at your mind and heart."-Alan Cheuse, Chicago Tribune