It’s quite impressive how Nigerian authors are breaking stereotypes. Bars are being raised and imaginations are being stretched. No longer do we have authors recycling the same old stories. A Cluster of Petals is one book that was totally refreshing to read. For a second there, I wanted to chastise the author for their writing style. I guess you could call it book-culture shock. But in a good way.
A Cluster of Petals is a collection of short stories that will have you reeling in laughter, make you pause and ponder, cause you to do a double-check just to confirm what you think you just read. The writer, Oluwaseyi Adebola’s imagination blows through the roof and reminds me of how as children, we cooked up and shared ridiculous stories amongst ourselves long before we were programmed (by society?) to tuck in our overactive imaginations like they were unruly shirt ends.
Some of the stories will leave you debating whether the writer is a literary whizz or has just gone totally bonkers. After all, there’s only a thin line between those two. One can only wonder what was going through Oluwaseyi’s mind as he was putting pen to paper. For example, a power-tussle conversation between two hands or a letter from a shoe are not scenarios you would run into on a regular day. A Cluster of Petals subtly touches on love, mental health, inequality, the secret lives of men, the hypocrisy of life and more.
If you have always felt your imagination was too crazy for the regular audience, you are in the best safe space. A Cluster of Petals will make you feel just right at home; little wonder it was shortlisted for two literary prizes in 2019. It is nothing short of genius. I would totally recommend it!
Written by Yemi Taiwo, for OkadaBooks.