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Set in West Africa, these stories chart a geography of consciousness during a period of transition from a colonial society through independence into a postcolonial world still in progress today. The characters-as many men as women come alive on these pages-enjoy good fortune and suffer pain in a tradtional African manner; through brilliant, witty, defiant, image-laden speech. The style of these stories renders African orality dramatically; characterization emerges as much through the unique voice as through physical appearance. The volume is at once entertaining and deeply instructive not only about a changing Africa, but about such universal themes as love, marriage, work, family, sacrifice, privilege, and hierarchy.