Posted by: africanpressorganization | 23 September 2009

Oprah’s Book Club, the Progressive Book Club, Publishers Weekly, and the New York Times Agree: Say You’re One of Them Is a Must Read


Oprah’s Book Club, the Progressive Book Club, Publishers Weekly, and the New York Times Agree: Say You’re One of Them Is a Must Read

NEW YORK, Sept. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Selected more than a year ago by Progressive Book Club ( as one of the most important books about the realities of life for Africa’s children, Uwem Akpan’s acclaimed collection of stories, Say You’re One of Them, has consistently garnered high praise from the literary world. And now the book has received one of the highest endorsements possible: Oprah Winfrey has announced that it has been selected for Oprah’s Book Club.


Told through the eyes of children, Say You’re One of Them’s stories are startlingly real and compassionate as they humanize the perils of poverty and violence in Africa. The stories take place in Nigeria, Benin, and Ethiopia, and reveal in beautiful language the harsh consequences for children immersed in war-torn and impoverished Africa. Christians clash with Muslims, parents succumb to AIDS, and monstrous events ensue — all seen here through the wide-eyed gaze of the children caught in the middle.


“This wonderful, insightful book is finally getting the accolades and attention it so deserves,” said PBC president Elizabeth Wagley. “Each story has enduring resonance, a terrible beauty of its own. Together, this collection enlarges what we know of children in danger, the innocent victims of tribal conflicts, genocide, and the ravages of AIDS. These are subjects that often make people avert their eyes from the horror — but literature like this can move us to look, to listen, and to act.”


“In this collection, [Akpan’s] aim seems to be to dramatize partisan hatred at work,” writes Maureen Corrigan, PBC Editorial Board member and book critic for NPR’s Fresh Air. “Akpan’s brilliance is to present that brutal subject through the all-too-real voices of children; he never succumbs to the temptation of making his narrators endearing or overly innocent. They’ve seen too much to pretend purity.”


About Progressive Book Club

Progressive Book Club finds and promotes important authors, ideas, and new voices. Part e-bookseller and part online magazine, the club offers a unique opportunity to buy new books and support important causes with every purchase. PBC has created a 21st-century platform that enables people to learn, connect, and engage on the issues they care about most — while keeping progressive ideas at the center of the national debate.



Progressive Book Club: 212-871-8210



Progressive Book Club


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