New York My Village
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New York My Village

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From a suspiciously cheap Hell's Kitchen walk-up, Nigerian editor

and winner of a Toni Morrison Publishing Fellowship, Ekong Udou-

soro, is about to begin the opportunity of a lifetime; to learn the ins

and outs of the publishing industry from its incandescent epicenter.

While his sophisticated colleagues meet him with kindness and

hospitality, he is soon exposed to a colder, ruthlessly commercial

underbelly - callous agents, greedy landlords, boorish and hostile

neighbors; and, beneath a superficial cosmopolitanism, a bedrock of

white cultural superiority and racist assumptions about Africa, its

peoples, and worst of all, its food.

Reckoning, at the same time, with the recent history of the devastat-

ing and brutal Biafran War, in which Ekong's people were a minority

of a minority caught up in the mutual slaughter of majority tribes,

Ekong's life in New York becomes a saga of unanticipated strife. The

great apartment deal wrangled by his editor turns out to be an illegal

sublet crawling with bedbugs. The lights of Times Square slide off the

hardened veneer of New Yorkers plowing past the tourists. A collec-

tive antagonism toward the "other" consumes Ekong's daily life. Yet

in overcoming misunderstandings with his neighbors, Chinese and

Latino and African-American, and in bonding with his true allies at

work and advocating for healing back home, Ekong proves that there

is still hope in sharing our stories.

From a suspiciously cheap Hell's Kitchen walk-up, Nigerian editor

and winner of a Toni Morrison Publishing Fellowship, Ekong Udou-

soro, is about to begin the opportunity of a lifetime; to learn the ins

and outs of the publishing industry from its incandescent epicenter.

While his sophisticated colleagues meet him with kindness and

hospitality, he is soon exposed to a colder, ruthlessly commercial

underbelly - callous agents, greedy landlords, boorish and hostile

neighbors; and, beneath a superficial cosmopolitanism, a bedrock of

white cultural superiority and racist assumptions about Africa, its

peoples, and worst of all, its food.

Reckoning, at the same time, with the recent history of the devastat-

ing and brutal Biafran War, in which Ekong's people were a minority

of a minority caught up in the mutual slaughter of majority tribes,

Ekong's life in New York becomes a saga of unanticipated strife. The

great apartment deal wrangled by his editor turns out to be an illegal

sublet crawling with bedbugs. The lights of Times Square slide off the

hardened veneer of New Yorkers plowing past the tourists. A collec-

tive antagonism toward the "other" consumes Ekong's daily life. Yet

in overcoming misunderstandings with his neighbors, Chinese and

Latino and African-American, and in bonding with his true allies at

work and advocating for healing back home, Ekong proves that there

is still hope in sharing our stories.