An Orchestra Of Minorities

By Chigozie Obioma

Chigozie Obioma was born in Nigeria and now lives in the US. His first novel The Fishermen was published to wide acclaim in 2015 - it was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize, and has since been adapted into a stage play. Obioma's second novel, An Orchestra Of Minorities, is also set predominantly in rural Nigeria. The story is told by Solomon Chinonso's chi (essentially a part of his spirit) to the gods, framing the whole tale in tragedy. Nonso, a simple bird farmer, is extremely lonely and isolated until he meets and falls in love with Ndali. The relationship would be perfect if it wasn't for Ndali's upper class family who disapprove of Nonso and the match - so much so he goes to terrible extremes to try and win their approval. Obioma has a masterful way with words. The most beautiful writing comes from descriptions of the relationships between characters (particularly Nonso and Ndali) - it would almost have been better if there was much more of that, and less of his chi's soliloquies, which are a bit one-note and take up far too much of the novel.


Prudence Wade

Published in hardback by Little, Brown, priced £14.99. Available January 17