Magazine article New Internationalist

The Hangman's Game

Magazine article New Internationalist

The Hangman's Game

Article excerpt

The Hangman's Game

by Karen King-Aribisala

(Pepal Tree Press, ISBN 9781845230463)

Guyanese writer Karen King-Aribisala is a regional winner of the 2008 Commonwealth Writers' Prize and her early work, combining short stories and poetry, has shown a willingness to cross boundaries and mix genres. Her début novel, The Hangman's Game is a dark and brooding meditation on the stories we tell and the effect they have on everyday life. The book concerns an unnamed Guyanese woman living in Nigeria who begins to write a book based on a slave revolt in Demarara, Guyana in 1823 and the hanging of a missionary chaplain for his part in the uprising. Structured as a book-within-a-book, the narrative shuttles between a fictionalized 19th-century slave state and Nigeria in the time of the dictator Sani Abacha (contemptuously referred to throughout as 'Butcher Boy'). …

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