Books by Helon
The Chibok Girls: The Boko Haram Kidnappings and Islamist Militancy in Nigeria
On April 14, 2014, 276 girls from the Chibok Secondary School in northern Nigeria were kidnapped by Boko Haram, the world’s deadliest terrorist group. Most were never heard from again. Acclaimed Nigerian novelist Helon Habila, who grew up in northern Nigeria, returned to Chibok and gained intimate access to the families of the kidnapped to offer a devastating account of this tragedy that stunned the world. With compassion and deep understanding of historical context, Habila tells the stories of the girls and the anguish of their parents; chronicles the rise of Boko Haram and the Nigerian government’s inept response; and captures the indifference of the media and the international community whose attention has moved on.
Employing a fiction writer’s sensibility and a journalist’s curiosity, THE CHIBOK GIRLS provides poignant portraits of everyday Nigerians whose lives have been transformed by extremist forces. Habila illuminates the long history of colonialism–and unmasks cultural and religious dynamics–that gave rise to the conflicts that have ravaged the region to this day.
Praise for The Chibok Girls: The Boko Haram Kidnappings and Islamist Militancy in Nigeria
"This is a controlled, lucid and deeply felt account of Boko Haram’s unconscionable kidnappings. This is essential to understanding the tragedy of the Chibok girls."Dave Eggers, author of What is the What and The Voice of Witness Reader
“Nigerian-born poet and novelist Habila seeks to remind the global community of the plight of the kidnapped girls.… an informative primer on Nigeria’s history of Islamist conflict and a passionate testimonial on behalf of the 218 Chibok girls still missing.”Kirkus Reviews
“A dispatch from the front lines…. Habila incorporates vital background knowledge on the situation in Chibok and the surrounding area; as a poet, he adds sensitivity and eloquence, capturing the raw emotion of the wounded town.”Publishers Weekly
Buy The Chibok Girls: The Boko Haram Kidnappings and Islamist Militancy in Nigeria
In his new novel, TRAVELERS, to be published by W.W. Norton in 2015, Habila interweaves the themes of travel and exile into a powerful narrative of two women who, in returning to Nigeria, are caught between the pull of home and the promises and challenges of the new world.