Lagoon (novel)

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Lagoon
AuthorNnedi Okorafor
LanguageEnglish
Published2014 Hodder and Stoughton

Lagoon is an Afrofuturist novel by Nnedi Okorafor (2014, Hodder & Stoughton; 2015, Saga Press/Simon & Schuster). It quickly drew scholarly attention after its publication.[1][2][3]

Summary[edit]

According to Hugh Charles O'Connell:

Lagoon develops its ... narrative across three acts: "Welcome" (in which the aliens make contact with the people of Lagos), "Awakening" (an explosion of violence across the city after contact is made), and "Symbiosis" (a period of utopian transformation, in which the aliens and humans come together to form a new postcapitalist Nigeria). Across these three acts, the novel's primary plot revolves around the alien ambassador, Ayodele, and her interactions with three human protagonists: Adaora, a marine biologist; Agu, a Nigerian soldier; and Anthony, a Ghanaian hip-hop artist. Blending its SF topoi with fantasy and folklore elements, we learn that the three human protagonists have special abilities (Adaora can create a shield around herself and breathe underwater, Agu has superhuman strength, and Anthony can make his voice heard and understood at great distances). Alongside these fantastical powers, the novel also incorporates various Nigerian folkloric and mythical entities, which physically manifest themselves and interact with the material world after being awakened by the aliens in the second act. Such figures include Udide Okwanka, a trickster spider and master weaver of tales from Igbo folklore; Legba, the Yoruba trickster god of language and the crossroads who is recast as an expert 419 scammer, but who also shows up in spirit form as Papa Legba; and new figures such as the Bone Collector, a sentient stretch of the Lagos-Benin highway that attacks humans.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Esthie Hugo (2017) Looking forward, looking back: animating magic, modernity and the African city-future in Nnedi Okorafor's Lagoon, Social Dynamics, 43:1, 46-58, doi:10.1080/02533952.2017.1345528.
  2. ^ Melody Jue, 'Intimate Objectivity: On Nnedi Okorafor's Oceanic Afrofuturism', WSQ: Women's Studies Quarterly, 45.1-2 (Spring/Summer 2017), 171-88, doi:10.1353/wsq.2017.0022.
  3. '^ Hugh Charles O'Connell, '"We are change": The Novum as Event in Nnedi Okorafor's Lagoon, Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry, 3 (2016), 291–312, doi:10.1017/pli.2016.24
  4. '^ Hugh Charles O'Connell, '"We are change": The Novum as Event in Nnedi Okorafor's Lagoon, Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry, 3 (2016), 291–312 (pp. 295-96), doi:10.1017/pli.2016.24