9780393325119 198

Waiting for An Angel

A Novel


Helon Habila (Author)

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"Habila's fictionalization...reveals the true casualties of oppression better than any news or history."—Library Journal

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 old man; 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. Winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing 2001. Reading group guide included.


“This is a startlingly vivid novel....Habila paints an extraordinary tableau...bringing sounds, sights and smells to life with his spare prose and flair for metaphor.” — Publishers Weekly

“Brilliantly captures the reign of terror in Lagos in the 1990s.” — Publishing News

“Habila leaves us a chink of hope, just as he leaves space for irony, love, heartbreak, and humor as the punches rain down....This is a beautifully judged work, powerful, compassionate and complete.” — The Observer

“In elegant, economical, and often lyrical prose, Habila captures the state of terror under which Nigerians were forced to live.” — The Times [London]

“Habila employs a prose whose spirituality recalls Wole Soyinka, Amilcar Cabral and King.” — Wally Hammond, Time Out

“Like an angel, Habila has breathed new life into his world.” — Village Voice

“Tender, funny and compassionate.” — Doris Lessing

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