- 39,00 kr
In this evocative tale of suspense from CWA Gold Dagger winner Peter Dickinson, a British diplomat’s wife in Nigeria inadvertently precipitates a senseless tragedy, and six decades later, her son becomes caught up in a maelstrom of violent political corruption
Filmmaker Nigel Jackland has come to northern Nigeria to work on a new project: a documentary based on the personal diary entries of his mother. Sixty years have passed since Betty Jackland first accompanied her husband, Ted, to this colonial African backwater, resolving to be a perfect helpmate and wife to Britain’s district officer in the emirate of Kiti.
But Betty’s fascination with the local Kitawa tribe, innate sense of justice, and irrepressibly independent spirit mean she could never turn a blind eye to the suffering of oppressed women—particularly the abused wives of the ruling emir. She never imagined that her strong words and actions could have violent consequences in the shadow of Tefuga Hill—or that the echoes of the tragedy would resound dangerously in the life of her own son many years on.
Linking two stories separated by more than half a century and relating them in alternating chapters, Tefuga is an enthralling, evocative, and suspenseful tale of corruption, imperialism, race, and murder. A master of both style and substance, Dickinson brilliantly re-creates times and places in stunning detail, transporting readers to an Africa so remarkably realistic they can almost feel the equatorial winds on their faces.
Sixty years after his mother, Betty Jackland, came from England to tribal, backwater, colonial Nigeria to marry his district-officer father, Ted arrives to make a documentary film based on her diary. Its pages recreate that time in detailthe life of an isolated woman in the overwhelmingly man's world of the British Empire; the ways of the resident Kitawa and Hausa people; the ambiguities of "indirect rule''; Betty's identification with native servants (including a houseboy who later rises to the rank of spiritual leader). Hovering over the shadowy events of the past and over a present steeped in corruption and violence is a mysterious shaping event toward which the action moves. In 1921, in the shadow of Tefuga hill, the new emir selected by the British is killed by the Kitawa women. Given its climactic significance, this act is strangely undramatizedoccurs, in fact, offstage. While prolific writer Dickinson (The House Party delivers a smoothly phrased, interesting narrative, it is somewhat marred by a sense of anticlimax and a profusion of pedestrian detail.