I Do Not Come to You By Chance is next on my must read list. Based on the plot summaries and reviews that I’ve read, Adaobi Nwaubani’s debut novel strikes me as one that would have me laughing out loud throughout! She takes the notorious Nigerian email scams and spins, what I would imagine, a hilarious tale showing the world what it is like on the other side.  That, in my view, is simply brilliant. Who hasn’t received at least one of those “my corrupt former banker uncle in Nigeria is trying to smuggle 20 million out of the country and we need access to your bank account to get it out of the country, will you help me?” e-mails?

I do not come to you by chanceI am one of those people who tries (to a fault!) not to offend anyone so naturally I wondered if Ms. Nwaubani was concerned about stereotyping Nigerians as being sleazy and untrustworthy.  Well, she addressed it best in her interview with African Writing online:

“I didn’t feel the need to do anything apart from tell a story the way I knew it to be—things I had observed in a world I lived in.  I wasn’t worried about those Westerners who think everything Nigerian is 419; I wasn’t worried about those Nigerians who are obsessed with changing the impressions of the West.  I wasn’t too worried about stereotypes, either.  Just like the lady crying because people are calling her fat.  Is she crying because she is fat or because people are calling her fat?  If we are so bothered about the way we are or the way the world perceives us, the first step is to change.”

Well, there you have it.  Read the interview here.

I like this review from novelist Jude Dibia.

From Publishers Weekly

In this highly entertaining novel about Nigerian Internet scammers, Kingsley Ibe is an engineering school graduate who can’t find a job and still lives at home with his family. After his girlfriend rejects him and his father dies, Kingsley is taken on by his Uncle Boniface (aka Cash Daddy), who is in the business of Internet scams, otherwise known as 419s. Soon, Kingsley is writing e-mail solicitations to the gullible of cyberspace, and any qualms he may have had about ripping off innocent people evaporate as he steps into the good life with a big new house, a Lexus and a new love interest (who doesn’t know how Kingsley earns his money). Meanwhile, Cash Daddy develops political ambitions and gains some ruthless enemies bent on crushing him. As the plots converge, Kingsley must decide whether to sell his soul to build a 419 kingdom. Although the narrative follows a somewhat predictable trajectory, Kingsley’s engaging voice and the story’s vividly rendered setting prove that while crime may not pay, writing about it as infectiously as Nwaubani does certainly pays off for the reader.

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Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani is a graduate of Psychology from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. She made her very first income from winning a writing competition at the age of thirteen. She’s based in Abuja, Nigeria. I Do Not Come to You by Chance is her debut novel and was published in May 2009 by Hyperion Books US and will be published and released in Nigeria by Cassava Republic in November 2009.

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