Looking for Transwonderland

A new travel book by Noo Saro-Wiwa

“Noo Saro-Wiwa was brought up in England, but every summer she was dragged back to Nigeria – a country she viewed as an annoying parallel universe where she had to relinquish all her creature comforts and sense of individuality. After her father, activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, was killed there, she didn’t return for several years. Recently, she decided to come to terms with the country her father loved and take a journey around Nigeria…

Saro-Wiwa travels from the exuberant chaos of Lagos to the calm beauty of the eastern mountains; from the eccentricity of Nigerian dog show to the decrepit kitsch of the Transwonderland Amusement Park. She explores Nigerian Christianity, delves into the country’s history of slavery, examines the corrupting effect of oil, and ponders the huge success of Nollywood.

She finds the country as exasperating as ever, and frequently despairs at the corruption and inefficiency she encounters. But she also discovers that it is far more beautiful and varied than she had ever imagined, with its captivating thick tropical rainforest and ancient palaces and monuments. Most engagingly of all, she introduces us to the many people she meets, and gives us hilarious insights into the Nigerian character, its passion, wit and ingenuity.

Looking for Transwonderland introduces us not only to an extraordinary varied and complex country, but also to a wonderfully fresh and irreverent new voice in travel writing.”

Looking for Transwonderland is funny, tragic, warm, wonderfully written and full of the small intimacies and insider knowledge so lacking in the usual travel books about Africa. Noo Saro-Wiwa is her father’s real heir – a wonderful storyteller and observer, whose compassion, keen eye and honesty shone through the book.”
Binyavanga Wainaina, author of One Day I Will Write About This Place.

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