The Phoenix is a savage, funny and brutally honest tale that brilliantly explores the lives of Africans in Britain who once integrated into the culture of a parasitic host nation then struggle to reclaim the soul they sold for a price they are discovering they cannot afford.
The Phoenix - Misrule in the Land of Nod
In writing The Phoenix, author Onyeka has managed to expose a world most contemporary authors on the African experience in Britain seek to deny.
We are taken on an journey where we begin to think we recognise the familiar characteristics of our cast, but whereas most literature painting a similar cultural landscape has traditionally remained static in development by fleshing out this mediaeval urban ensemble using media stereotypes, Onyeka instead kicks open the door to the unsaid thoughts that haunt those we thought we knew.
It is this brutal yet uncompromising love of his subject that enables him to paint a stark honest if not bleak canvas which is also causally depressing as it is violently optimistic and spiritual.
This is one case where whilst the problems are on the page, the answers are definitely between the lines. The Phoenix is essential reading.
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