Fresh from the stables of Parrésia Publishers Ltd, publishers of The Whispering Trees, the collection with an entry on the 2013 Caine Prize shortlist comes another literary offering from another brilliant author. The book, Fresh Air and Other Stories, was recently unveiled by the publishers under its Origami imprint. Reward Nsirim’s Fresh Air and Other Stories is a collection of sixteen fictional stories about the oddities of corruption, ill-handled security and other absurd nuances that has become the norm in the Nigerian state.
From a renowned international scholar who is intellectually reduced and left redundant in a parastatal obviously called DEAD, to an honourable honed only in the skills of braggadocio and helping ladies out of their lingerie, Reward Nsirim’s Fresh Air is a balanced diet of satire, wit and urban panache in creative writing. His narrative style shows that it is less effective to complain but it is more assertive to humour people, to carve caricatures of characters that the reader can feel and has seen before.
Reward Nsirim paints several scenarios of Nigeria with a comical and skilful brush. Fresh Air lampoons the “fresh air” promises of democratic dispensations in Nigeria and open’s the readers to the comparative realisation of the deceit of carpetbaggers, legislators, praise singers, demanding relatives and citizens who contribute to the sleaze that has besmirched the country’s values of governance. The value of the short story subgenre is that they suit the urban lifestyle, where people are busy with schedules. Individuals can read Reward’s offering, Fresh Air over a span of time, reeling with laughter, wonder and concern without losing the memories of the narratives.