Looking for Transwonderland by Noo Saro-Wiwa
Travels in Nigeria

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Finally, in the overwhelmingly Islamic north, the author meditates on the artificial nature of the country, which like so many other African nations can seem a fanciful concoction of colonialism.
-WSJ online

Synopsis

Noo Saro-Wiwa was brought up in England, but every summer she was dragged back to visit her father in Nigeria — a country she viewed as an annoying parallel universe where she had to relinquish all her creature comforts and sense of individuality. After her father, activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, was killed there, she didn’t return for several years. Recently, she decided to come to terms with the country her father given his life for.

Saro-Wiwa travels from the exuberant chaos of Lagos to the calm beauty of the eastern mountains; from the eccentricity of a Nigerian dog show to the decrepit kitsch of the Transwonderland Amusement Park. She explores Nigerian Christianity, delves into the country’s history of slavery, examines the corrupting effect of oil, and ponders the huge success of Nollywood.

She finds the country as exasperating as ever, and frequently despairs at the corruption and inefficiency she encounters. But she also discovers that it si far more beautiful and varied than she had ever imagined, with its captivating thick tropical rainforest and ancient palaces and monuments. Most engagingly of all, she introduces us to the many people she meets, and gives us hilarious insights into the African character, its passion, wit and ingenuity.
 

About Noo Saro-Wiwa

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Noo Saro-Wiwa was born in Nigeria in 1976 and raised in England. She attended King's College London and Columbia University in New York. She currently lives in London.
 
Published September 1, 2012 by Soft Skull Press. 321 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Travel, Education & Reference. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Looking for Transwonderland
All: 3 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 1

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Ian Birrell on Jan 28 2012

Without forsaking her jaunty style, the author shows she is her father's daughter with sharp observations about Nigeria.

Read Full Review of Looking for Transwonderland: ... | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Adewale Maja-Pearce on Jan 06 2012

Had she acknowledged that she was seeing Nigeria largely through western eyes she might have opened up connections between where she is and where she has come from that would have thrown light on both.

Read Full Review of Looking for Transwonderland: ... | See more reviews from Guardian

WSJ online

Above average
Reviewed by Howard W French on Oct 16 2012

Finally, in the overwhelmingly Islamic north, the author meditates on the artificial nature of the country, which like so many other African nations can seem a fanciful concoction of colonialism.

Read Full Review of Looking for Transwonderland: ... | See more reviews from WSJ online

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