Tiny sunbirds, far away : a novel

by Watson, Christie.

Format: Print Book 2011
Availability: Available at 6 Libraries 6 of 6 copies
Available (6)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Homewood African American Fiction FICTION Watson
Location  CLP - Homewood
Collection  African American Fiction
Call Number  FICTION Watson
CLP - Main Library First Floor - Fiction Stacks FICTION Watson
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  First Floor - Fiction Stacks
Call Number  FICTION Watson
Monroeville Public Library Fiction WATSON Christie
Location  Monroeville Public Library
Collection  Fiction
Call Number  WATSON Christie
Moon Township Public Library Fiction F WATSON Christie
Location  Moon Township Public Library
Collection  Fiction
Call Number  F WATSON Christie
Oakmont Carnegie Library Fiction WA
Location  Oakmont Carnegie Library
Collection  Fiction
Call Number  WA
Penn Hills Library Fiction WAT
Location  Penn Hills Library
Collection  Fiction
Call Number  WAT
One of the world⿿s finest vocal chamber groups performs a program that exemplifies their distinctive style and highly developed musicianship. At its heart is a work commissioned by the ensemble from British composer Roger Marsh, which deftly blends Renaissance techniques with a modern idiom.
Winner of the 2011 Costa First Novel Award

When their mother catches their father with another woman, twelve year-old Blessing and her fourteen-year-old brother, Ezikiel, are forced to leave their comfortable home in Lagos for a village in the Niger Delta, to live with their mother's family. Without running water or electricity, Warri is at first a nightmare for Blessing. Her mother is gone all day and works suspiciously late into the night to pay the children's school fees. Her brother, once a promising student, seems to be falling increasingly under the influence of the local group of violent teenage boys calling themselves Freedom Fighters. Her grandfather, a kind if misguided man, is trying on Islam as his new religion of choice, and is even considering the possibility of bringing in a second wife.
But Blessing's grandmother, wise and practical, soon becomes a beloved mentor, teaching Blessing the ways of the midwife in rural Nigeria. Blessing is exposed to the horrors of genital mutilation and the devastation wrought on the environment by British and American oil companies. As Warri comes to feel like home, Blessing becomes increasingly aware of the threats to its safety, both from its unshakable but dangerous traditions and the relentless carelessness of the modern world. Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away is the witty and beautifully written story of one family's attempt to survive a new life they could never have imagined, struggling to find a deeper sense of identity along the way.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Through the lens of a young girl's coming-of-age, this breakthrough novel views the politics of contemporary Nigeria, portraying the clash between traditional and modern as it affects one extended family. When Blessing, 12, has to leave her prosperous modern home and school in Lagos for her mother's rural family compound in the delta, she is shocked by having no water and electricity and no school to attend, but she slowly settles in and bonds with her mentor grandmother, who trains Blessing to be a midwife. The adjustment is never presented in simplistic terms. The old ways can be vicious, including Grandma's practice of female circumcision. Most moving is the breakdown of Blessing's beloved gifted older brother, Ezekiel. Unable to attend school, he hates all whites and joins the violent rebels. Married to a Nigerian, Watson tells her story of culture clash without heavy messages, but the issues are sure to spark intense discussion, especially about the damage done to the environment and to the people by the powerful international oil industry in league with the corrupt government.--Rochman, Hazel Copyright 2010 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "In Watson's impressive debut, 12-year-old Blessing is uprooted from her suburban Lagos, Nigeria, life when her mother Timi catches their father with another woman and moves Blessing and her brother, Ezikiel, to the outskirts of the dangerous, oil-rich Niger delta. The proximity to the oil fields, which erupt often in smoke, oil, and violence, exacerbates Ezikiel's poor health, and it's not long before a stray bullet sends him to the hospital. He survives, and takes up wandering the "evil forest" bush, home of the Sibeye boys, who kidnap oil workers and eat fireflies for strength. When Timi falls for a white oil worker, the Sibeyes become interested. Ezikiel takes up with them, discarding his dreams of becoming a doctor even as Blessing begins to help deliver babies, which gives her the confidence to take a stand against the genital mutilation that midwifes traditionally perform. Watson's nuanced portrayal of daily life in Nigeria is peopled with flawed but tenacious characters who fight not only for survival but for dignity. Blessing is a wonderful narrator whose vivid impressions enliven Watson's sensual prose. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Teenage girls -- Nigeria -- Fiction.
Brothers and sisters -- Fiction.
Life change events -- Fiction.
Country life -- Nigeria -- Fiction.
Grandparent and child -- Nigeria -- Fiction.
Families -- Nigeria -- Fiction.
Niger River Delta Region (Nigeria) -- Social conditions -- Fiction.
Nigeria -- Social life and customs -- Fiction.
Publisher New York :Other Press,2011
Language English
Description 438 pages ; 21 cm
ISBN 9781590514665
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