Uwem Akpan

Uwem Akpan (Photo: Comfort Ukpong, Little, Brown & Company)

The news from Africa can sound as old and hard as time.

But what if you were a child, in the midst of it? In the midst of loving and hoping, and seeing and growing up … and living fresh through hunger and killing, genocide in your parents’ bedroom, glue-sniffing with your mom on Christmas Day.

Nigerian writer and Jesuit priest Uwem Akpan’s new short story collection brings us Africa, shatteringly, through the eyes of children facing slavery, fear, death. It is a revelation.

This hour, On Point: A new voice from Africa. Uwem Akpan and “Say You’re One of Them.”


Uwem Akpan, Nigerian-born writer, author of the new short story collection “Say You’re One of Them.” You can read and listen to an excerpt from the book at And you can listen to the song “Agbalagba,” by Grammy Award-winning world music star Angelique Kidjo, inspired by “Say You’re One of Them.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Nov 26, 2015
This photo taken July 31, 2012 shows a "tiny" house April Anson built in Portland, Ore. For the past couple of months, 33-year-old Anson and her friends have been planning, measuring, sawing and hammering their way toward completion of what might look like a child’s playhouse. (AP)

Tiny houses, micro-apartments. They’re hot. Americans are downsizing.

Nov 26, 2015
Jewel performs in the On Point Studio on Tuesday, September 22, 2015. (Liz Gillis / WBUR)

Singer-songwriter Jewel asked “who will save your soul”? Now she’s talking about saving her own. We’ll talk to Jewel.

Nov 25, 2015
Three of baker Renee McLeoud's delicious pies, on display in the WBUR studios. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

Bring your appetite! We’re gathering around the radio table with three chefs and new Thanksgiving recipes.

Nov 25, 2015
President Barack Obama, accompanied by Pulitzer Prize winning Iowa writer Marilynne Robinson, arrives to the State Library of Iowa in the Ola Babcock Miller Building, Monday, Sept. 14, 2015, in Des Moines. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

On the day before Thanksgiving, we talk with Marilynne Robinson – one of America’s greatest authors, thinkers, moralists — about fear and hope in a hard, frightening time.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Fresh Ideas For Your Thanksgiving: Recipes
Wednesday, Nov 25, 2015

Did our Thanksgiving 2016 episode make you hungry? Good news — we’ve got recipes right here.

More »
1 Comment
Karl Rove Still Won’t Get Involved In The 2016 G.O.P. Primary
Tuesday, Nov 24, 2015

Karl Rove may say he’s not endorsing or getting involved in the 2016 G.O.P. presidential primary, but that won’t stop from offering advice on how to beat Republican front runner Donald Trump.

More »
Roger Cohen And Barry Posen On ISIS
Monday, Nov 23, 2015

A brief, but illustrative exchange between Barry Posen and Roger Cohen during our conversation on ISIS today.

More »