The path from Europe to Africa has been much traveled in literature but rarely in such an evocative, nuanced, and even playful way as in N.S. Kenings’s Theft.
Here are five seductive tales that move with grace and subtlety between the two continents and reveal with insight and wit that what seem to be very separate worlds are not so far apart after all. In Pearls to Swine, a lonely childless socialite invites her American goddaughter to spend the summer in her mansion. In Wondrous Strange, a spirit medium is haunted by the ghost of an ancient African djinn. In Setting Up Shop, a young Zanzibari woman dreams of traveling to the U.S., even as a local entrepeneur courts her relentlessly, even promising to leave his other wives for her.
More praise for The Blue Taxi:
“The world Kenings has created in her accomplished debut is tragic and exhilarating, as is her portrayal of weary, left-behind colonialists, poverty-stricken natives and the uneasy manner in which each regards the other.” — Publishers Weekly
“Kenings skillfully weaves together the stories of individuals from disparate cultures converging in a city that is entering a new era of political independence.” — The New Yorker