Waiting for an Angel by Helon Habila
A Novel

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Synopsis

The generation-defining successor to Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart.

Lomba is a young journalist living under military rule in Lagos, Nigeria, the most dangerous city in the world. His mind is full of soul music and girls and the lyric novel he is writing. But his roommate is brutally attacked by soldiers; his first love is forced to marry a wealthy general; and his neighbors on Poverty Street are planning a demonstration that is bound to incite riot and arrests. Lomba can no longer bury his head in the sand.

Helon Habila's vivid, exciting, and heart-wrenching debut opens a window onto a world in some ways familiar-with its sensuously depicted streets, student life, and vibrant local characters-yet ruled by one of the world's most corrupt and oppressive regimes, a scandal that ultimately drives Lomba to take a risk in the name of something greater than himself. Habila captures the energy, sensitivity, despair, and stubborn hope of a new African generation with a combination of gritty realism and poetic beauty.

 

About Helon Habila

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Helon Habila is the internationally renowned author of "WaitHelon Habila is the internationally renowned author of "WaitHelon Habila is the internationally renowned author of "Waiting for an Angel", which won both the Commonwealth Writers Ping for an Angel", which won both the Commonwealth Writers Ping for an Angel", which won both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Caine Prize for African Writing, and "Measuringrize and the Caine Prize for African Writing, and "Measuringrize and the Caine Prize for African Writing, and "Measuring Time" and "Oil on Water". He was born in Nigeria and now di Time" and "Oil on Water". He was born in Nigeria and now di Time" and "Oil on Water". He was born in Nigeria and now divides his time between America and Nigeria. vides his time between America and Nigeria. vides his time between America and Nigeria.
 
Published January 1, 2003 by W. W. Norton & Company. 256 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Waiting for an Angel

Kirkus Reviews

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Lomba is a Lagos journalist and would-be novelist whom we meet in 1997, when he’s imprisoned on fabricated charges, sunk in depression, which is recorded faithfully in his diary—and appropriated by the prison superintendent, who coaxes “Love Poems” out of Lomba, then sends them to his own mistress.

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The Guardian

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'You see,' James tells Lomba, 'Every oppressor knows that wherever one word is joined to another to form a sentence, there'll be revolt.' Mirroring the prison bars in its Mobius-strip composition, Habila's narrative doubles back on itself to end at the beginning.

Oct 20 2002 | Read Full Review of Waiting for an Angel: A Novel

The Guardian

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Waiting for an Angel by Helon Habila 226pp, Hamish Hamilton, £12.99 In Helon Habila's powerful first novel, the journalist and poet Lomba is warned by a colleague that, even if he finishes the novel he is writing in longhand by candlelight in a Lagos slum, no one will publish it.

Oct 26 2002 | Read Full Review of Waiting for an Angel: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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Some chapters are written in the third person, others narrated by Lomba himself and still others by a high school student named Kela, who lives near Lomba on Poverty Street and crosses paths with him just before the fateful demonstration.

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This Magazine

This fusion of the political and the personal — the sense that what we are and how we see our world is informed by our social and political situation — is expressed a little more explicitly in a scene where Lomba, a reporter who would become a political prisoner because he attended a demonstratio...

Sep 14 2009 | Read Full Review of Waiting for an Angel: A Novel

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