Title: Say You're One of Them
Author: Uwem Akpan
Publication Year: 2009
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Edition: audiobookSource: Library
Date Completed: 5/2012
Rating: 4.5/5Recommend: yes
Say You're One of Them, is a debut collection of (5) short stories about children growing up in Africa. Each story tells of life in a different African country: Ethiopia, Nigeria, Benin, Rwanda and Kenya. Making the stories especially poignant and sad is the fact that each story is told from the eyes of the children. The stories are not easy to listen to, as some of the topics in these stories have parents who are dying of AIDS, children being sold into slavery, the lives of children as prostitutes, and even children who have had their hands amputated as a penalty for stealing.
Even though, in general, I am not a huge fan of short story collections, this audio book got my full attention. An eye-opening collection of stories about children whose innocence has been lost, because they were born into a life where poverty, chaos and violence were commonplace.
The writing is vivid and sobering. Despite the despair exhibited through and through, never for a minute did I feel like I needed to stop listening. The author is a Jesuit priest, who I can only imagine, knows first-hand what he has written about. If ever for a minute you are feeling sorry for yourself, your situation, or your life, you should read or listen to these stories -- they will make you appreciate your life -- the way it is--a lot more. I know I did.