The Face: Cartography of the Void by Chris AbaniThe Face: Cartography of the Void by Chris Abani

The Face: Cartography of the Void

byChris Abani

Paperback | March 1, 2016

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“A fascinating meditation on identity that explores the novelist’s own mixed heritage and mixed feelings….A true citizen of the world….With great insight and compassion, Abani reveals that behind his—and every—face are unseen scars.” —San Francisco Chronicle

In The Face: Cartography of the Void, acclaimed Nigerian-born author and poet Chris Abani has given us a profound and gorgeously wrought short memoir that navigates the stories written upon his own face. Beginning with his early childhood immersed in the Igbo culture of West Africa, Abani unfurls a lushly poetic, insightful, and funny narrative that investigates the roles that race, culture, and language play in fashioning our sense of self.

As Abani so lovingly puts it, he contemplates “all the people who have touched my face, slapped it, punched it, kissed it, washed it, shaved it. All of that human contact must leave some trace, some of the need and anger that motivated that touch. This face is softened by it all. Made supple by all the wonder it has beheld, all the kindness, all the generosity of life.” The Face: Cartography of the Void is a gift to be read, re-read, shared, and treasured, from an author at the height of his artistic powers.

Alternately philosophical, funny, personal, political, and poetic, the short memoirs in The Face series offer unique perspectives from some of our favorite writers. Find out more at www.restlessbooks.com/the-face.
Chris Abani is a novelist, poet, essayist, screenwriter, and playwright. Born in Nigeria to an Igbo father and English mother, he grew up in Afikpo, Nigeria, received a BA in English from Imo State University, Nigeria, an MA in English, Gender, and Culture from Birkbeck College, University of London, and a PhD in Literature and Creativ...
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Title:The Face: Cartography of the VoidFormat:PaperbackDimensions:96 pages, 6 × 4.5 × 0.3 inPublished:March 1, 2016Publisher:Restless BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1632060434

ISBN - 13:9781632060433

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Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“What do our faces say about us — and how much of what they say is fair? That’s one of the questions posed by Restless Books’s intriguing new series The Face, in which writers use their own countenances as launchpads into the imaginative stratosphere . . . in Chris Abani‘s Cartography of the Void, part of the series’s inaugural triptych (along with short works by Ruth Ozeki and Tash Aw), we’re not disappointed . . . Can we dismiss the significance of our faces when they bear so strongly the marks of who we were as much as who we are? It could seem like a pessimistic question. But Abani isn’t pessimistic. Seeing his father in himself is troubling but it also opens up a path to understanding. And so it is that he can hope: ‘That my face, and my father’s face, and his father’s face before him will blaze in an unending lineage of light and forgiveness.’”  —Charles Arrowsmith, House of SpeakEasy