‘Say You’re One of Them’ by Uwen Akpan SJ has been chosen by the Oprah book club, the most powerful endorsement in publishing.

'Say You're One of Them' by Ukem Akapan SJ

Uwen Akpan SJ

Uwem Akpan was born in the village of Ikot Akpan Eda in southern Nigeria. After studying philosophy and English at Creighton and Gonzaga universities, he studied theology for three years at the Catholic University of Eastern Africa. He was ordained as a Jesuit priest in 2003 and received his MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan in 2006.

My Parents Bedroom, a story from his short story collection, Say Youre One of Them, was one of five short stories by African writers chosen as finalists for The Caine Prize for African Writing 2007. Say Youre One of Them won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book (Africa Region) 2009 and PEN/Beyond Margins Award 2009, and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction. In 2007, Akpan taught at a Jesuit college in Harare, Zimbabwe. Now he serves at Christ the King Church, Ilasamaja-Lagos, Nigeria.

Say You’re One of Them

Say You’re One of Them tells of the experiences faced by young people throughout Africa. Akpan uses five ‘short’ stories (though two are over 100 pages) to address issues in various different countries including Benin, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and Rwanda.

In five separate narratives, each told from the perspective of a child from a different African country, Say You’re One of Them vividly portrays the horror and beauty to be found in both the history-altering events and the mundane details of everyday life. In these stories of family, friendship, betrayal and redemption, Akpan highlights the tenacity and perseverance of his young protagonists.
Oprah Book Club

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