We are so excited to dive into Lagoon by Nigerian-American female author Nnedi Okorafor. This unique novel is a love letter of sorts to the city of Lagos. It puts the cultural and racial dynamics of this historic city up as a framework to support an interesting story about contact with extraterrestrial life. Okorafor then mixes in a heavy dose of African mythology and tradition to bring us a multifaceted narrative told from multiple perspectives.
This may also be one of the most compressed timelines that we’ve read in Book Club. The entire narrative takes place over just a couple of days as the world approaches catastrophe. It is an interesting study of Lagos and tries to imagine how Earth might react if presented with a first contact scenario. Especially when this other-worldly entity seems to have chosen our planet rather than crashing on it like so many sci fi films present.
The use of pigeon English throughout Lagoon really brings you into the moment. As io9 says in their review, it is clear that Okorafor both “…loves and is repulsed by Lagos” and “…[t]he deep contradictions of place”.
Overall, Book Club gave Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor 3.5 out of 5 spaceships. We wish they could have dug a bit deeper into the stories they presented but we think you’ll definitely enjoy this tale of strangers brought together by a common goal.
Book of the Month: Lagoon
Author: Nnedi Okorafor
Available at Amazon, Audible, the Strand or your local books store
Next Meeting: Sunday, December 16th
Location: Woods and Ales – 234 W 14th Street, New York, NY