Short listed for the 2004 Orange Prize.
A haunting tale of Africa and an adolescence undergoing tremendous changes, by a talented young Nigerian writer.
Fifteen-year-old Kambili's world is circumscribed by the high walls of her family compound and the frangipani trees she can see from her bedroom window. Her wealthy Catholic father, although generous and well-respected in the community, is repressive and fanatically religious at home. Her life is lived under his shadow and regulated by schedules: prayer, sleep, study, and more prayer. She lives in fear of his violence, and the words in her textbooks begin to turn to blood in front of her eyes.
When Nigeria begins to fall apart under a military coup, Kambili's father, involved in mysterious ways with the unfolding political crisis, sends Kambili and her brother away to their aunt's. The house is noisy and full of laughter. Here she discovers love and a life - dangerous and heathen - beyond the confines of her father's authority. The visit will lift the silence from her world and, in time, reveal a terrible, bruising secret at the heart of her family life.
This first novel is about the promise of freedom; about the blurred lines between the old gods and the new; between childhood and adulthood; between love and hatred. An extraordinary debut, 'Purple Hibiscus' is a compelling novel which captures both a country and an adolescence at a time of tremendous change.
- Publication Date:
- 01 / 10 / 2007
- 130 x 197 x 22mm