Walking on Cowrie Shells: Stories

Highbridge Audio. Oct. 2022. 6:51 hrs. ISBN 9781696606837. $15.99. F
In this rich debut, Caine Prize finalist Nkweti offers a series of deftly woven short stories, revealing the multitude of people and experiences that make up the Cameroonian diaspora. These stories immerse listeners in a cacophonous roller-coaster ride of language and genres: discussing the complications of transnational adoption; examining the complexities of assimilation; describing a pregnant woman at the crossroads of faith and tradition; weaving a tale of a Mami Wata (water spirit of West African lore); traveling with a young aspiring illustrator attending MomoCon; and pulling a story from mysterious true events. South African narrator Zoleka Vundla’s breathtaking performance uses her superb command of storytelling and accents to bring the many characters to life. At times funny, relatable, devastating, foreign, and surprising, but always fresh and vibrant, this collection of stories is a must-listen.
VERDICT Nkweti’s rich heritage and nuanced writing shines throughout every story in this stunning collection. Share this important work, which details the complexity and diversity of the African diaspora experience, with fans of Lesley Nneka Arimah’s What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky.
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