“Route 234” is edited by CNN award-winning travel writer Pelu Awofeso and is a compilation of stories contributed by several Nigerian arts and culture journalists.
A quote on one of the opening pages sets the tone for the book: “What does it mean to live in a city? What does it mean to pass through a city and to be touched by its special identity? What is it about cities that move artists to an imaginary land of expression? Catharsis? Identity? Or turmoil?”
From here on, readers are taken on a series of excursions across the world, through various locales in the United States, England, Brazil, Gambia, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, India, France, Germany and the Netherlands.
Some of the travel stories have the feel of impartial journalistic reporting, while others offer more direct personal experiences and observations.
One adventure leads to the next in this wonderful mix of country-specific experiences in which readers relive the quandary of being stranded in an airport in a foreign country (in this case, France); feel the relentless surge of frightening waves while seated in a pirogue on the River Gambia; observe, with wonder, widespread evidence of Yoruba culture in Brazil; appreciate the wry humour embedded in an incident of stomach upset in Germany; and so much more.
Like a highway with many exits, reading “Route 234” is like taking a journey that leads in many different directions; on the other hand, readers can also choose to ‘enter’ it from any of the ‘inroads’, each leading to an even more interesting place.
Mary N. Oluonye
Read sample chapters below: