Review of Damilare Kuku’s Nearly All The Men in Lagos Are Mad by Aliyu Idris

Title: Nearly All The Men in Lagos Are Mad
Author: Damilare Kuku
Genre: Fiction
Date of Publication: 2021
Page: 198
Publisher: Masobe Books

The book is the author’s debut book and an anthology of short stories that entail twelve short stories narrated in cooperative narration. Almost every story revolves around a societal subject matter, tackling issues around the woman or the feminine gender.

From the title of the book, you can sense that it’s questionable, derogatory and disrespectful to men. The book exposes the sufferings of women and how Lagos men behave especially toward women. It is a story of sacrifice, endurance, rape, patriarchy and phallocentric deceit and betrayal, women in the book are presented as saints but some characters of some short stories in the book are the reason for their sufferings, this happens in reality.
Another important issue highlighted in the book is the concept of feminism, which the book emerges to promote, just like contemporary feminists. It is not surprising that one of the author’s inspirations to produce the book is a feminist (Ngozi Chimamanda Adichie).

Almost every female writer who writes in any genre of literature promotes feminism right from the 19th and 20th-century feminists Virginia Woolf, Simone de Beauvoir, and Kate Millet down to the present-day feminists. Because contemporary feminists writers do not stick to one feminist ideology but many subcategories, for instance, every story in the book has a different class of feminism ideology, for example, the first story titled “Cuck-Up” uses Amazon feminism to portray how defiant women are and despite appearing weak and regarded as passive.
The last story in the book titled “Independence Day” uses cultural feminism which showed the kindness and gentility of women. Eco-feminism appears in a story titled “Anointed Wife” which emphasised to the world that patriarchal societies are detrimental to women.

Charles E Brazzler in his book “Literary Criticism An Introduction to Theory and Practice Fifth Edition” asserts that It’s the view of contemporary feminists that subjugation of women still exists worldwide issues through rape, prostitution, social injustice, early marriages, polygamy etc, the feminist writers continue to add their voices for protest through their pens and papers such we see in Nawa El Sadawi’s Women at Point Zero, Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex, Mariama’s So Long a Letter, Adiechie’s Zikora, We Should All Be Feminist, Americanah.
It should be noted that feminism has been broadly international in scope and its disposition is dictated by many local as well as general factors. For example, writers from Arab traditions such as Fatima Mernissiand Leila Ahmed have attempted to articulate a feminist vision distinctly marked by their specific cultural concerns; the same is true of African-American feminists such as Alice Walker and feminists of Asian heritage such as Gayatri Spivak (Habib 2005:669).

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Aliyu Idris is a student from Department of English and Literary Studies, Bayero University, Kano. He The founder of “Sunshine Literary Club Yola”, can be reach on facebook @Aliyu Idrees Ali, or via email aliyuidris063@gmail.com