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Looking for Transwonderland: Travels in Nigeria by [Saro-Wiwa, Noo]
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Looking for Transwonderland: Travels in Nigeria Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Length: 321 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* The daughter of slain Nigerian activist Ken Saro-Wiwa revisits her homeland as an adult in this absorbing tour of that complex African country. As a child, Saro-Wiwa resented being pulled from her life in London to be shuttled off to Nigeria with her family. Now she devotes several months to getting to know the country as an adult. She begins her journey in Lagos, staying with a family friend and braving perilous public transportation to visit the heart of the Nigerian oil industry, a local museum, and a beach, where she’s courted by a charming con man. She finds the new capital of Abuja, where her older brother now lives, cleaner and less congested than Lagos, but it lacks the former capital’s lively character. Saro-Wiwa had high hopes for Transwonderland, an amusement park built in Ibadan, but it’s run-down and essentially deserted. As she tours the country and gets to know people from its many ethnic groups, she gains a better understanding of and appreciation for Nigeria. Saro-Wiwa is a sharp and insightful guide, giving readers an intimate look at the varied regions that comprise this fascinating country. --Kristine Huntley

Review

Praise for Looking for Transwonderland

"The remarkable chronicle of a journey home from exile." —The New York Times Book Review

"The daughter of slain Nigerian activist Ken Saro-Wiwa revisits her homeland as an adult in this absorbing tour of that complex African country…As she tours the country and gets to know people from its many ethnic groups, she gains a better understanding of and appreciation for Nigeria. Saro-Wiwa is a sharp and insightful guide, giving readers an intimate look at the varied regions that comprise this fascinating country." —Booklist (Starred)

"The author allows her love-hate relationship with Nigeria to flavor this thoughtful travel journal, lending it irony, wit and frankness."—Kirkus

Product Details

  • File Size: 806 KB
  • Print Length: 321 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1619020076
  • Publisher: Soft Skull Press (September 1, 2012)
  • Publication Date: September 1, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008V724TO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #274,088 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed reading this book because, while (as expected) it tells about the various parts of Nigeria, it does it from the viewpoint of a writer who is from a Nigerian family and spent time there annually as a child. Her encounters are certainly the real Nigeria, and the details of the culture, the people, the history that she gives are intriguing. What impression will her re-acquaintance with her "home" country leave her with? Well-written.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The author's lifelong uneasy relationship with her birth country animates this book. Saro-Wiwa has a lively voice and is happy to make fun of herself along the road. Having just lived for three years in Nigeria, I recognized not just the places and the people, but the crazy optimistic spirit of the country. Saro-Wiwa does not sidestep the tough issues entirely, but I do think that since her visit, the political and social tensions in Nigeria have increased markedly. As a result, readers very familiar with the country may find the picture a bit sweeter than current realities.
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Format: Paperback
I thoroughly enjoyed this, somewhat to my surprise, since I am often impatient with travelogue segments in fiction. But then, a nonfiction travel book succeeds if it informs and entertains the reader with information about a place, while fictional travels all too often serve as cover for lack of plot.

And this book both informs and entertains. Saro-Wiwa is Nigerian by birth, but was raised and currently lives in England. After years of avoiding her home country, following uncomfortable childhood experiences and her activist father's murder at the hands of one of several dictatorships, she took several months to travel around Nigeria and reacquaint herself with the country. This insider/outsider perspective is a valuable one, as Saro-Wiwa has both an eye for interesting detail and contrast with the Western world, and a familiarity with the culture and a network of friends and relatives throughout the country.

The writing is engaging, and the author provides historical information where it's helpful, along with going the extra mile herself for interesting stories, whether it's a death-defying bus ride in Lagos or pretending to be a prospective sugar mama long enough to call and interview men advertising themselves as gigolos. She also talks her way into the inside scoop on many of Nigeria's most interesting (but neglected) tourist sites. The book occasionally shades into memoir, and I would have been interested to read more about the author than is included here; but I get the sense she is a bit neurotic and was perhaps wise not to let her own preoccupations consume the book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This humorous and very well written book throws new light on life in Nigeria. Noo, could you please provide the address of your aunt in Lagos and ask her to open a guest house (with or without electricity or running water). I will be her first customer.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Noo Sara-Wiwa's travelogue around Nigeria is a very personal one. She grew up in the UK and had not visited the country as an adult. She also acknowledges her love-hate relationship with the country given the execution of her father by the then military regime.
I enjoyed the book a great deal since I lived in Nigeria for some years and also traveled around the country quite a bit. I enjoyed her observations on everyday life and the Nigerian psyche. I also appreciated learning about some of the rather obscure places she visited along the way.
I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in Nigeria, lives there, lived there, loves the place and has hopes for its redemption!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read Looking for Transwonderland in a book club. While I found Saro-Wiwa's writing quite engaging, the book itself did not hold together well. In general, each chapter seemed to long and had perhaps too much information. I found myself struggling to finish the book. This is a shame...obviously, the author does know how to write and has a lot to say.

The story itself is a fictionalized account Saro-Wiwa return to Nigeria and her visit to the country where she was born. She is the daughter of a famous Nigerian activist, who was killed by the previous military regime. Returning the country was a way to help her understand who she was and where she came from. Traveling across the country, she saw much corruption as well as many people trying to make the country better or simply trying to live their lives as best they could. It is a shame that the book is so long and unfocused.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I had to read this book for a 101 class, and the unit for this book was the easiest unit just because reading was enjoyable! Sara-Wiwa has such a unique perspective on Nigerian life, and the book is a travel book presented as a narrative.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Through my professional career, I had the opportunity to travel to Lagos and Port Harcourt; through these travels developed several long lasting friendships with Nigerians from several tribes. This books expounds on my personal travels and allowed me visit other places within this great country. Definitely recommend to any new traveler to Nigeria.
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