The Guardian Praises Press Author’s African Memoir

by Shaun Manning on November 4, 2011

0472114018Alexandra Fuller, writing for prominent British newspaper The Guardian, has selected Toyin Falola’s A Mouth Sweeter Than Salt: An African Memoir (University of Michigan Press, 2004) as one of the ten greatest memoirs to come out of Africa. Fuller, who was born in the UK but moved to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) when she was two, herself has written several memoirs about her life in several countries on the African continent, most recently Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness. Of Falola’s book Fuller said:

This Nigerian coming-of-age memoir is irreverent, poetic and filled with the kind of ordinary information that makes Nigeria feel oddly familiar, even in its loud, exuberant foreignness. It’s easy to see the influences of both Chinua Achebe and Wole Solinkya in these pages, and yet Falola has a voice all his own too. Something modern and jazzy and shoulder-shrugging and altogether itself.

A Mouth Sweeter Than Salt has previously won the 2004 Association of Third World Studies (ATWS) President’s Distinguished Leadership and Scholarship Award and the West African Oral History Association’s E.J. Alagoa Prize for the best book for 2003-2004, and was a finalist for the 2005 Association of African Studies Melville J. Herskovits Award and the Association of Third World Studies (ATWS) Cecil B. Curry Award that same year.

As one of the continent’s great historians, Falola’s memoir draws upon not only his own experiences but also historical and communal stories as well as the shifting political and cultural enivornments surrounding Nigeria’s push for independence.

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