Elvis Oke lives in one of the most notorious and squalid ghettos of Lagos, he makes a living as an impersonator of his namesake, Elvis Presley. The book starts with Oke in Lagos, living with his father and step-mother. Oke had lived in the village of Afpiko before his mothers death and the book shifts between the two periods- his time in the village and his subsequent move to the city of Lagos. In Lagos, Oke lives with his alcoholic father and his rude step-mother who does not care for him. In addition to being an Elvis impersonator, Oke dabbles in a number of jobs, often illegal and dangerous.

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Chris Abani is a Nigerian American writer. Most of his work is known for addressing political and cultural issues in his home country, Nigeria. He got imprisoned several times for doing anti-government actions, the last imprisonment was a death sentence. However, he was saved and he moved to the United Kingdom and then to America where he lives there now.

Graceland is set in a Nigerian poor district in Lagos, and the main character is called Elvis. Elvis tries to escape the ghetto and change his lifestyle to a better, richer one. He lives in a dreadful condition with his poor family. The story shifts the time of the novel from to and from until recently.

However, Elvis finds illegal ways to try to make his life better for his family. The novel is based on the actual life of Abani, where he tries to address the poverty and poor conditions some areas in Nigeria face. The novel also addresses the illegal ways people take when they have no other choice. Graceland received numerous reviews by many critics. It earned a 3. All through its pages, the specter of an inhuman dictatorship looms large, personified by the cruel Colonel who routinely terrorizes every neighborhood and clamps down on every mode of free speech.


GraceLand Background

Here is what Abani tells Tayari Jones about the scene in an April interview in The Believer when she asks for his thoughts on "global blackness". Jones is African American, but spent a year in Nigeria when her father was a Fulbright scholar there. I grew up conflicted about this whole notion [of global blackness]. Especially about Pan-Africanism. But it is interesting that these guys were educated mostly in America. These guys had contact with Du Bois and Marcus Garvey long before they came back. You can see this link much more in music.


GraceLand Summary

San Francisco Chronicle graceland amply demonstrates that Abani has the energy, ambition and compassion to create a novel that delineates and illuminates a complicated, dynamic, deeply fractured society. Los Angeles Times A wonderfully vivid evocation of a youth coming of age in a country unmoored from its old virtues…As for the talented Chris Abani…his imaginary Elvis is easily as memorable as the original. Newsday graceland teems with incident, from the seedy crime dens of Maroko to the family melodramas of the Oke clan. Energetic and moving…Abani [is] a fluid, closely observant writer.


Chris Abani

History[ edit ] Graceland Farms was originally owned by Stephen C. Toof, founder of S. After her death, the property was passed down to her niece Ruth Moore, a Memphis socialite, who together with her husband, Thomas Moore, built a 10,square-foot We peeked in the not-yet-curtained windows and got a kick out of the pastel colored walls in the front rooms with shades of bright reds and purples that Elvis most certainly had picked out.

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