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Diaries of a Dead African

Here's the dedication page of the book: 'On 29th January, 2002, my mother died. Eziogolibuno Dorothy Nwannefuluno Nwokolo lived to read the first two parts of this book but she inspired them all. To be raised by her was to find, without searching, the most generous love of all. Nobody who knew her would fail to recognise her words in the better part of this book. Those are the parts I dedicate to a woman whose praise name means: a good wife is the home.

Only death could part her from her husband and inseparable friend, Nwachukwunedu Felix Chukwuma Nwokolo. Living is a daily privilege to be his son, this man of character whose affections leaps the gulf between continents, whose presence ignites occasions. This book is also dedicated to my own friend and father. '

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ISBN: 978-2190-03-9 Size: 138x210 mm Pages: 193
10.99 (+ £1.97 P+P)


Diaries of a Dead African is a novel in three diaries written by an embattled farmer, Meme Jumai, and his two sons, Abel (failed writer) and Calama (aspiring conman). Funny and idiosyncratic, Diaries presents an authentic face of a private dilemma with universal and tragic dimensions. A condensed version of Meme's Diary was published by London Review of Books. It was also translated into Italian for an end of year special edition of Internazionale featuring their choice of the three best stories from around the world.


Chuma Nwokolo, Jr. is an author and attorney. Called to the Bar in 1985, his calling to writing was somewhat earlier, having published his first novel with Macmillan in 1983. He has a passion for the short story and his African Tales at Jailpoint (Villagerhouse) appeared in 1999. He has published four novels, a short story anthology and a collection of motivational essays. Married with four children, he divides his time between the UK and Nigeria. email Chuma.


Meme Jumai quietly struggles to continue his dignified existence in his small African town of Ikerre-Oti. His wife's desertion - and her self-imposed divorce settlement - conspires with a particularly bad harvest to bring him to a life crisis. His two sons have abandoned him and he is compelled to conquer his pride and test the robustness of his human relationships, with tragicomic consequences. Meme is obsessed with the fear of dying the death of a lizard: "a death without heritage, lying three or four days in ... bed before [being] discovered, and even then, thrown away with hissing, with neither outcry nor mourning." But as his crisis looms nearer, his options for avoiding his greatest fear becomes more and more limited...

Following his father's lynching, Calama returns home to Ikerre-Oti. His own downward spiral into want is stupendously truncated by the timely success of a con practised on the rich American, Billy Barber. His life becomes a fairy-tale, worlds apart from the nightmare that was his father's life. But when "the greatest secret in the Jumai household" outs, nothing, it seems, can keep his life on its happy rails.

Abel had built his life on the simple ethic of fleeing discomfort and confrontation. With his father dying at 50 and his younger brother at 25, he has every incentive to stay on the run. Yet, he is heir to Calama's illicit fortune and on the threshold of achieving his own publishing ambitions. How to outlive father and brother - without fleeing the very opportunities he had craved all his life...

p.s. Click on either cover to read two free chapters.


© 2003 Chuma Nwokolo, Jr.

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©2006 Chuma Nwokolo, Jr.