Most readers asked about expatriate writings on Africa will think of Let’s Not Go To The Dogs Tonight, West with the Night, Out of Africa, all of which are memoirs. This is not, though it may attract some of the same audience fascinated with Africa.
Maybe we can consider The Poisonwood Bible and Nowhere in Africa instead. Though the latter is also memoir, it has a similar sense of the mystical and fantastic that in Africa feels only a breath away from any motion, any glance.
Loosely based on history, Night Must Wait gives expatriate views of the complex war fought by Nigeria to keep the area declared ‘Biafra’ from seceding from the nation. There’s wrong committed on all sides. Night is filled by a burgeoning vital land, with natural wealth, beauty and people whose first instincts and traditions offered hospitality and kindness. I present the colonial attitude, the illusion that imposing the European/North American societal mores might cure every ill, both physical and economic of the young giant, Nigeria.
A reader should put this book down feeling satisfied about the characters and their fates, but also intrigued and haunted by the immensity and power of this black African nation with all of its problems, its needs, and the haunting question of what comes next for it and for us. The promise is there, but how will the Nigerians release it?