An Orchestra of Minorities

An Orchestra of Minorities

A Novel

Book - 2019
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A heartbreaking story about a Nigerian poultry farmer who sacrifices everything to win the woman he loves, by Man Booker Finalist and author of The Fishermen , Chigozie Obioma.

"It is more than a superb and tragic novel; it's a historical treasure."- Boston Globe

Set on the outskirts of Umuahia, Nigeria and narrated by a chi, or guardian spirit, An Orchestra of Minorities tells the story of Chinonso, a young poultry farmer whose soul is ignited when he sees a woman attempting to jump from a highway bridge. Horrified by her recklessness, Chinonso joins her on the roadside and hurls two of his prized chickens into the water below to express the severity of such a fall. The woman, Ndali, is stopped her in her tracks.

Bonded by this night on the bridge, Chinonso and Ndali fall in love. But Ndali is from a wealthy family and struggles to imagine a future near a chicken coop. When her family objects to the union because he is uneducated, Chinonso sells most of his possessions to attend a college in Cyprus. But when he arrives he discovers there is no place at the school for him, and that he has been utterly duped by the young Nigerian who has made the arrangements... Penniless, homeless, and furious at a world which continues to relegate him to the sidelines, Chinonso gets further away from his dream, from Ndali and the farm he called home.

Spanning continents, traversing the earth and cosmic spaces, and told by a narrator who has lived for hundreds of years, the novel is a contemporary twist of Homer's Odyssey . Written in the mythic style of the Igbo literary tradition, Chigozie Obioma weaves a heart-wrenching epic about destiny and determination.
Publisher: New York : Little Brown & Company, 2019.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780316412391
Branch Call Number: OBIOMA C
Characteristics: 464 pages ; 24 cm


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Jun 21, 2020

Edmonds library display during June 2020

STPL_JessH Sep 19, 2019

I chose to read a book by Chigozie Obioma for the “mythology or folklore” category of the Read Harder Challenge. I really enjoyed his first book The Fisherman and couldn’t wait for Orchestra of Minorities to be published. Obioma’s concept was pretty interesting. The book is told from the perspective of the main character’s chi, his guardian spirit. Chinonso is a chicken farmer who goes on a great and tragic journey to earn the respect of the woman he loves named Ndali. I had high hopes for this mix of Greek mythology and Igbo cosmology but I found myself frustrated by many events and the response of the characters. Fortunately, I listened to the audio book and Chukwudi Iwuji’s passionate narration was stunning.

Jul 04, 2019

The reviewers say it much more eloquently than I. A book of great spiritual axioms told in the Igbo tradition. This will be purchased and added to my own library as it can be read again and again with new lessons learned each time. A classic.

Jul 02, 2019

A new novel from the fertile literary grounds of Nigeria. Chigozie Obioma's book weaves Igbo myth, culture, and religion into a contemporary story about an innocent chicken farmer who falls in love, gives up his life in Nigeria, and sells everything to go to school in Cyprus, only to find that he's been duped. If you've read "Things Fall Apart," you'll have some familiarity with Igbo customs and the novel, in an unusual move, is narrated by the man's chi or personal spirit. It's a rich novel, both Homeric and picaresque. Other Nigerian books worth checking out are "Half of a Yellow Sun," "The Palm-Wine Drinkard," and "Freshwater."


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