Family Politics: Negotiating the Family Unit as a Creative Force in Chigozie Obioma’s The Fishermen and Ben Okri’s The Famished Road

  • Aaron Brown
Part of the African Histories and Modernities book series (AHAM)


This chapter explores the way the family unit acts as a representation of the nation state as explored in two Nigerian novels: Ben Okri’s The Famished Road (1993) and Chigozie Obioma’s The Fishermen (2015). Critical of the politics and development of Nigeria, Okri provides a vision of solidarity and hope in the face of oppression and injustice, while Obioma shows how the influx of individualist ideology into the family drives brother against brother. This chapter both operates within and challenges Frederic Jameson’s reductive claim that all “third-world texts” are “national allegories.” The novels, through the family unit, ultimately depict a nation that is forming and reforming itself, just as transgressive ideologies threaten to tear it apart.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aaron Brown
    • 1
  1. 1.Sterling CollegeSterlingUSA

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