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Otiono, Okenyodo revisit best of Nigeria’s contemporary writing

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It is not easy to have a rich volume of contemporary Nigerian writing. But Mace Books Associates Limited, Lagos, in conjunction with Treasure Books Limited, Yenagoa, has done so. Working on a template already provided, the publishing recently released the revised edition of Camouflage: Best of Contemporary Writing from Nigeria, edited by Nduka Otiono and Odoh Diego Okenyodo.

The anthology, which serves as a bridge between the ‘third’ and ‘fourth’ generation of Nigerian writers, boasts some of the most important names in African literature today as contributors.

The 358-page mixed genre anthology contains a total of 71 Nigerian writers including poets and short story writers. It is an anthology of who is who in postmodern Nigerian writing curated by some of the finest amongst the breeds.

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Some of the contributors include, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Helon Habila, Afam Akeh, Pius Adesanmi, Unoma Azuah, Chika Unigwe, Ahmed Maiwada, Uzor Maxim Uzoatu, Lola Shoneyin, E.E. Sule, Chiedu Ezeanah, Nengi and Bina Ilagha, Uche Nduka, Maik Nwosu, and Obi Nwakanma, to mention but a few.

The present volume is close to the original version. However, this edition features a new cover; a new short story, The Fate of Yala Street, by Ike Okonta; an extensively updated notes on contributors and additional editing for errors.

Sadly, some of the contributors have passed on in the intervening 15 years. These include Pius Adesanmi, Nike Adesuyi, Adolphus Amasiatu, Halima Lawal and Simeon Chibiko Nwakaudu.

To celebrate the release, the editors and the publishers have outlined some activities geared towards promoting the anthology. The lined-up activities include online and physical book reading events, campus book tours, a special webinar to mark the release, and other marketing strategies intended to improve the readership of the anthology.

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According to the lead editor, Otiono, “The high demand for copies of the anthology necessitated a reissue, 15 years after the first publication. As you can see, many of the contributors have gone on to become literary stars and legends in their own rights.”

Okenyodo says, “In the digital era, there have been calls to have the book available for online purchase in Nigeria and the diaspora. We thought that just re-issuing the old anthology wouldn’t suffice, so we updated the work to add value to contributors and readers accustomed to digital books. Hence, both the paperback and the eBook are now available on Amazon, Kindle, Lulu, Okada Books, and other major platforms.”

The editors and publisher are deeply grateful to the contributors, readers, critics and scholars all over the world who have kept faith with the book, and have encouraged the publication of an updated edition.

“This has been a labour of love that is worth the huge personal financial commitment Diego and I have made to this project,” Otiono concludes.

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