The New Gong Magazine

Publishers of New Writing and Images                                                    
Singing Our Own Song: The New Gong
Book of New Nigerian Short Stories













Literature has been one of Nigeria’s few success stories. A year hardly
passes but yet another Nigerian writer wins a major international prize.
Tellingly, the writers themselves are usually based abroad, where they are
also published. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with this, and God knows
the desperate plight of most writers condemned to negotiate a country
which rewards mediocrity and denigrates excellence, but one might then
ask how it is possible for a national literature to flourish outside the local
conditions which nurtured it in the first place, and to do so on the authority
of editors who would have difficulty locating Nigeria on the map.

us unduly. We, not foreigners, must be the judges of whether or not a The
fact that this literature-in-exile appears to be doing well need not delay us
unduly. We, not foreigners, must be the judges of whether or not a
particular book has told us something we need to know about our evolving
tragedy – flawed elections admitted to even by the victors, an ex-president
alleged to have slept with his daughter-in-law, two hours of electricity a day
despite billions of dollars expended – except that we have bought into the
notion that the real world happens elsewhere, and that what we think and
feel are of no account. In other words, we believe in our own mediocrity,
which is why, for instance, the established Nigerian publishing houses have
signally failed to follow where the writers have led and are content instead
to continue churning out sloppily edited textbooks for a guaranteed local
market.

It was with this in mind that The New Gong was launched in 2005: to provide
an indigenous platform for new Nigerian writing that made no excuses in
terms of editorial values. We believe we have made a modest start in that
regard but we wanted to extend it further by showcasing in a single volume
the range of good writing coming out of Nigeria, hence this anthology. We
simply put out the word and selected from the best that came in without
regard to gender, theme or any of the other ‘smelly little orthodoxies’ which
finally make a mockery of the thing itself. The reader will judge for
themselves how far we have succeeded in our self-imposed task.

The New Gong
Omale Allen Abdul-Jabhar
Folu Agoi
Unomah Azuah
A. Igoni Barrett
Babatunde Alade Dawodu
Eghosa Imasuen
Dulue Mbachu
Razinat Mohammed
Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani
Tolu Ogunlesi
Wilson Orhiunu
Sumaila Umaisha
Chika Unigwe
Uzor Maxim Uzoatu
Uche Peter Umez
Jumoke Verissimo
Molara Wood