Sunday, September 3, 2017

Five top fantasy novels with awe-inspiring settings

Matthew Kressel is a multiple Nebula Award-nominated writer and World Fantasy Award-nominated editor. One of his five favorite "fantasy novels with fantastic, awe-inspiring settings," as shared at
The Palm-Wine Drinkard by Amos Tutuola

If you haven’t encountered Amos Tutuola’s 1952 novel, go to your local bookstore or library and request it now. It is not like anything you’ve ever read. Growing up in Nigeria, Tutuola was raised by Christian cocoa farmers and went to school for only six years, because he needed support his family financially after his father died. Heavily influenced by the Nigerian Yoruba folktales, The Palm-Wine Drinkard was the first African novel published in English outside Africa. It recounts the story of a man who is addicted to palm wine. When his brewer dies, he becomes desperate for more wine and sets off for the “Dead’s Town” in order to bring the brewer back. He crosses frightening landscapes and meets terrifying supernatural beings along the way—all to get more wine! Some may be put off by the modified Yoruba English that gives his prose a raw quality, but others have said this connects the reader more closely to the Yoruba folktales on which the novel is based. Either way, you’ll never read a book quite like this.
Read about the other entries on the list.

The Palm-Wine Drinkard is among Alain Mabanckou's six favorite books.

--Marshal Zeringue