The Chinua Achebe Encyclopedia

By M. Keith Booker | Go to book overview

J

JABLOW, ALTA

. See The Africa ThatNever Was.


JALIO

. In A Man of the People, an important national writer of the fictional postcolonial African country featured in the book. Jalio is the author of The Song of the Black-bird, identified in Achebe's book as the country's most famous novel. He is also the President of the Writers' Society. The fame of Jalio and his book is lost on the uncultured Chief Nanga, however. When Nanga, as Minister of Culture, attends a book exhibition along with Odili Samalu and Elsie, he meets Jalio there but clearly has no idea who he is. Jalio himself comes in for a certain amount of satire in this same scene, however. He is described as such a nonconformist that he even insists on designing his own clothing so that it will be unique; it also appears that he designs it rather badly, making him something of a ridiculous (and pretentious) figure, his head having been turned by the success of his novel. Indeed, Nanga chides him on his odd dress and admonishes him that, when he attends such official functions in the future, he should wear either a business suit or the traditional national dress. Jalio, insulted, nevertheless treats Nanga with deference, indicating his appreciation of Nanga's power.

M. Keith Booker


JAMES

, Christian name of an Igbo who serves as the interpreter for the District Commissioner in chapter 23 of Things FallApart.

M. Keith Booker


JEAN

, a somewhat overbearing white American woman who accompanies her husband, John, when he comes to Africa as part of a team of experts advising the government of the postcolonial nation featured in AMan ofthe People. In chapter 5 of the novel, Jean drives narrator Odili Samalu back to the home of Chief Nanga from a party. Alone in the house, Jean and Samalu dance the high-life as a prelude to sex while John is away in the town of Abaka attending the opening of a new cement factory built with American capital there. Her exaggerated sexual movements during the dance, learned perhaps from watching an anthropological film, suggest an ignorance of African culture, as does the familiar way in which both she and her husband address Chief Nanga by his first name. Samalu is somewhat taken aback by

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The Chinua Achebe Encyclopedia
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword: Chinua Achebe and the Institution of African Literature vii
  • Preface xvii
  • Chronology xix
  • A 1
  • B 39
  • C 51
  • D 73
  • E 76
  • F 83
  • G 91
  • H 96
  • I 109
  • J 122
  • K 126
  • L 130
  • M 136
  • N 161
  • O 191
  • P 218
  • R 229
  • S 233
  • T 246
  • U 270
  • V 280
  • W 281
  • Y 286
  • Z 288
  • Bibliography 289
  • Index 303
  • About the Contributors 315
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