About The Book
Enticing, masterful and compelling, The City Will Love You is a collection of short stories from talented wordsmith, Nii Ayikwei Parkes. From Lagos to London, this collection moves across the globe to focus on the personalities that the city ignores every day, the ones it really loves.
I believe that a move from countryside to city is more gut-wrenching than movement between countries. A woman from Lagos instinctively knows how to survive New York – city sensors kick in and she's soon alive to the music, the charm, the danger, the possibilities.
The stories in The City Will Love You can only happen in a bustling city environment. In ‘Socks Ball’ a group of football-obsessed boys grapple with coming of age in Accra, robbed of the certainties of youth and imprisoned by an imposed language. A young Kenyan man takes revenge on racist London neighbours in ‘Scotch Bonnets’. Tap dance, distilled via Nicholas Brothers videos on Betamax, becomes a means to escape hunger during the 1983 Sahel drought in ‘The First Shampoo Hair Show’. In ‘The Orange Story’ a filmmaker roots the beginnings of her craft. A well-educated Ghanaian migrant in South London wrestles with the decision to tell his police girlfriend that his papers are false in ‘When We Were We’. ‘Whatever Song the Drum’ explores the dilemma of a young lawyer in Abidjan called upon to defend a gay classmate.
In ‘Momentum’ a street porter plans to use her knowledge of physics to pre-emptively protect her younger sister from a rapist. ‘Wood’ recounts the unexpected return of an uncle presumed dead in Monrovia during the Liberian civil war. In ‘Karl's Gold’ a family secret haunts a young woman on the verge of sexual discovery; ‘Letters to the President’ traces an elaborate plot by a West African president to reset his country's economy, and ‘La Bodega’ explores African students' experience of racism in 1990s Toulouse.
Wherever it is, and wherever we are, the city is indifferent to us. And yet, because we want to be important and don't want to disappear, cities make us behave in ways that can reveal new dimensions of ourselves, and that is the heart of this collection of stories.
The book’s cover will be designed by Inua Ellams.
Updates From The Author
Excited to share our first blurb from Aminatta Forna, first reader of the collection outside of my agent, THAT publisher and close friends: '[Nii Ayikwei Parkes] stories in the The City Will Love You ...07.03.2018
No, I really didn't. I just ended up being much busier than I intended to be (who ever intends to be busy?), so I've fallen behind on sending out information and updates. Still, we're at 15%!! Double ...27.02.2018
Hola chicos! I'm in an airport lounge in transit (again!) but it strikes me that I haven't sent an update in a while. The transits are partly to blame - I have ended up busier than I ever intended whe...17.07.2018
Hi y'all! Like the best stories, life is not predictable so I haven't been in control of my time in the last couple of months. That has meant that I've failed to update you - and I've barely spoken ab...30.04.2018
Hi y'all, I bet you feel like one of those faithful friends who is always there it pick things up from exactly where they ended the last time. No? Well, that's how I feel about you. I go on these long...07.06.2019
Hi! It's been a while, hasn't it?! I feel like the seasons aren't even behaving themselves so we can't really tell how fast time is unravelling. It's close to the end of August already. This is the ti...22.08.2018
Readers, Dreamers, Supporters, There is so much to say after such a long period of silence, but I think the first and most sensible thing to say is THANK YOU. Thanks to you and to the universe, and to...14.11.2021
Dear Friends & Supporters, It's been close to a full 7 months since I last wrote to update you. It's a new time, it's a new year - Happy New Year to you all. When I say it's a new time, I say that wit...04.01.2020
Well, hello! It's been a while. I almost feel like I could say Happy New Year twice and not be far out. I am truly dire at this update thing, but don't let that make you think I don't love you and app...15.02.2019
I've never started a message by saying thank you, but this feels like one of those messages that needs to break rules. Thank you! I mean, I'm a logical man most of the time and - of course! - I expect...21.12.2017
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