Excerpt from an article about Toni Kan, one of important new Nigerian writers to emerge in the 1990s. He went to the University of Jos and is the one who invited Helon Habila to Lagos. (Toni Kan, along with Habila himself, makes a cameo appearance in Habila's Waiting for an Angel, in a surreal scene where Habila and his friends [Chiedu, Otiono, Maik, Nwakanma, Mike Jimoh] introduce themselves to the protagonist Lomba (Habila 218). It is this rupture in the boundaries between fiction and reality that I argue creates a space out of which an energy can escape--and actually affect Nigerian history--there is a layering of texts--historical and fictional--so that it becomes ambiguous which is which... anyway, let me write the thesis before I talk about it on the internet. Here's the article:)
My generation better than those before us By HENRY AKUBUIRO(email@example.com)Sunday, May 7, 2006
•Toni KanPhoto: Sun News Publishing
Toni Kan’s quill glints like an emerald whenever he puts pen to paper. In the Lagos axis of Nigerian writers, he ranks alongside Odia Ofeimun, Akachi Ezeigbo, Nduka Otiono, Promise Okekwe, Adewale Maja-Pearce, Maxim Uzoatu, Folu Agoi, Uchechukwu Nwosu and Hyacinth Obunseh as some of those who bring special fervour to the literary scene. This is no surprise, because when he made his debut, When a Dream Lingers Too Long, a collection of poems, in 2002, plaudits reverberated and lingered.Helon Habila, the Caine Prize for African Writing winner, said of the debut: "Tony’s poetry has clarity, coherence and unity. He has depth as well as range. His imagery is so vivid one could touch it, his lyricism so clear one could dance to it. Likewise, Maik Nwosu, the multi award-winning writer, hailed his poetry as ultimately evoking "images of triumph of the spirit –beyond the enlarging shadows of despair – as it centres on artistic vision rooted in transformative reality."A year later, as if to confirm those accolades, Kan entered the book for the ANA/Cadbury Poetry Prize and came second behind the US-based poet, Ogaga Ifowodo. It was not a bad finish for a writer with a first collection of poems. A versatile writer, he published his first novel, Ballad of Rage, in 2004, and entered it for the mouthwatering NLNG Prize for Literature. Interestingly, the Delta-born writer, whose full name is Anthony Kanayo, made the longlist of eleven.
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