"In rescuing the Chibok tragedy from 'mythic status,' Habila's unusual primer quietly yet powerfully revives the call to take notice." - The Atlantic
"Habila's account is a fascinating portrait of a community stricken by tragedy and ill-served by successive governments in Abuja." -- Financial Times
"In this brief yet powerful book, novelist Helon Habila returns to Nigeria, the country of his birth, to explore the kidnapping in April 2014 of 276 girls from a secondary school in Chibok, in the northeastern state of Borno...A memorable portrait of individual resilience in a divided, strife-torn nation." -- the Guardian
"There's nothing more informative about one of Africa's most troubled states in the past half dozen years than Helon Habila's The Chibok Girls. The slim little book was written by the award-winning Nigerian novelist who was born in the area and-- although he lives in the U.S.--returned to the war-torn northeastern area of his country, where he conducted interviews (including with three of the escaped abducted girls) and, then, placed his conclusions within the context of Nigeria's post-Independence history. The result is a damning picture of Nigeria's failed leadership, ethnic tensions, and squandered oil wealth, one of the saddest stories of post-colonialism and--in a disturbing way-- a warning for other nations (including the United States) to get their act together." -- Counterpunch
"This engaging book reminds us of how ordinary the horror of war can be." -- Kwame Dawes, Emmy award-winning poet, actor, musician and author of Bob Marley: Lyrical Genius
"A dispatch from the front lines....Habila incorporates vital background knowledge on the situation in Chibok and the surrounding area; as a poet, he adds sensitivity and eloquence, capturing the raw emotion of the wounded town."
"Helon Habila tells us a heartbreaking story about lives lost in anguish. His book will spread the pain and sorrow of the vanquished Chibok women, not to keep us crying, but to energize us to be part of a path that leads to the rescue."
-- Toyin Falola, Past President, African Studies Association, and Kluge Chair of the Countries and Cultures of the South, Library of Congress
About the Author
He worked in Lagos as a journalist before moving to England in 2002. He co-edited the British Council's anthology, New Writing 14 and edited The Granta Book of African Short Story in 2011. He is currently an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at George Mason University and lives in Virginia with his wife and three children.