The Extinction of Menai
A Novel

By Chuma Nwokolo

In a novel of stunning scope, Chuma Nwokolo moves across time and place to deliver a story that speaks to urgent contemporary concerns. His characters’ indelible voices offer perspectives that are simultaneously global, political, and intimately human.

The place at The Extinction of Menai’s heart is the Niger delta village of Kreektown, even as the action spans continents. The cause of the trouble is an unethical drug trial administered to Kreektown residents—the fictional Menai people—in the early 1980s. And the unfolding tragedy is the looming end, decades later, of the Menai and their culture. Characters include continents-apart twin brothers separated at birth, an excommunicated Menai daughter living an urbane life with her doctor husband, and an infamous vigilante. And there is spiritual leader Mata Nimito, who retraces their ancient migration on his quest to preserve the soul of his people and resolve the consequences of a centuries-old betrayal.

This epic for the modern era encompasses bioethics, language extinction, and Nigerian history and diaspora. Nwokolo confronts power relations between large corporations and small communities, corporate lobbies and governments, and big pharma and consumers, all expressed through the competing narratives that record the life and death of a civilization.

Chuma Nwokolo’s books include The Extortionist, Dangerous Inheritance, African Tales at Jailpoint, One More Tale for the Road, Diaries of a Dead African, The Ghost of Sani Abacha, and How to Spell Naija in 100 Short Stories (1 & 2) He has published two poetry collections, Memories of Stone and The Final Testament of a Minor God. His stories have appeared in the London Review of Books, La Internazionale, AGNI, and elsewhere. A lawyer by trade, he founded the Bribecode good governance campaign.

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Modern African Writing

Related Subjects

Fiction · African Literature



Retail price: $22.95, T.
Release date: Mar. 2018
380 pages · 5½ × 8½ in.
Rights:World except Africa, and United Arab Emirates


Release date: Mar. 2018
≅ 380 pages
Rights: World