Toni Kan is our friend at The Bookaholic Blog and we really loved his new collection of poetry entitled Songs of Absence and Despair published by Cassava Republic Press and can't wait to hear him read from it this Saturday, April 18 2009 2pm at Terra Kulture, Tiamiyu Savage, Victoria Island, Lagos.
For anyone that might be new to his writing, below is an excerpt of a review of his recent short story collection Nights of the Creaking Bed.
Nights of the Creaking Bed is like poetry; Toni Kan uses the minimum amount of words to tell all 14 stories with just the right amount of detail that you, the reader, feel that you were right there with the characters.
The collection of stories opens with the eponymous story ‘Nights of the Creaking Bed'. From the first line: "My mother was a kept woman," the tone of the piece is set. We go on to hear about this mother who has been ‘f***** somebody's husband'.
The language is very realistic and easily reflects the ages and the generations to which the characters belong. This natural voice is evident throughout the collection, whether it is from a parent or a child in ‘God is Listening': "His young, pink tongue touching his pink palate screams: ‘Please, please, please,"' or the audio pulse of the hustle and bustle of ‘under-bridge' life in the city of Lagos captured in ‘The Devil's Overtime': "Carry this JJC waka. Make you show am way. If anybody worry una, tell dem say this JJC na my person." Or the slowed down tempo of the rural areas experienced in ‘Ahmed': "He loved watching the sun come up through the branches of the trees. He loved the gentle touch of the wind on his face." In general, Kan chooses his words to effectively mirror societal stories and happenings in such a way the reader comes away not only identifying with the characters and themes but also believing the ‘realness' of the stories and in some cases are able to draw parallel personal experiences.
Read the rest of Story Time with Toni Kan by Isabella E.C. Akinseye here