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Thometz's selection of popular pamphlets, originally sold in Nigeria's huge Onitsha Market from the 1940s through the 1960s, features stories, novels, plays, and advice on topics ranging from loose living to handling money. What makes this volume especially fascinating is its facsimiles of the originals, including "Drunkards Believe Bar As Heaven," "Lack of Money Is Not Lack of Sense," and "Beware of Harlots and Many Friends." Purchasers should be advised, however, that since these pamphlets are exact reproductions, the print quality is occasionally less than perfect (but still readable). The writings are both entertaining and culturally illuminating, along the lines of Western "white slave" adventures and photonovellas, and Thometz's introduction and "Reader's Guide" are fine means of acquainting oneself with this subgenre. Essential for all African and popular studies collections, to complement Emmanuel Obiechina's anthology An African Popular Literature (1973) and his Language and Theme (Howard Univ., 1990). Anthony J. Adam, Prairie View A&M Univ., TX
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Kurt Thometz is a private librarian. He has been profiled in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, GQ, and
Avenue. For many years a bookseller in New York City, he lives in Brooklyn, New York.