Welcome to the book tour of Umari Ayim’s Guardian of the Fall. It began yesterday on Creative Writing News and today LolaOpatayo.com is priviledged to host this intriguing writer and her work. I encourage you to participate by asking questions and also join the tour on Open Book Nigeria tomorrow, this will increase your chances to win a free copy of the book.
What is Guardian of the Fall About?
As I said yesterday, the book is an exciting mix of mysticism, romance, and suspense. The story is spun around the Guardian, the eponymous character, and keeper of a picturesque forest and waterfall in Agbokim village, in Cross River State, Nigeria. The Guardian is a force, a deity of some sort, which exhibits formidable powers, including shape shifting (appearing as a child, an old woman, an owl, a snake, a satyr-like creature, and a goat with a baby’s face). It attempts to match make its messenger, Erom, with Ken, a developer who wants to build a resort near the falls. Erom, with no say in the matter, is chosen, as a messenger of the Guardian; Ken’s parents decide his profession, university, where he’ll work and even the day he should start work; and the Guardian, through dreams and visions, essentially pulls Erom and Ken together, which, upon introspection, asks the philosophical question – how real and true is human love if it is predestined and fated by the gods? I particularly enjoyed the author’s style of writing and found her descriptions vivid. I have quite a lot of questions for her, but first, here’s an excerpt from page 58 of the book.
Erom climbed off the bus and stretched her stiff muscles. She felt like she had been traveling for a whole day, instead of the three hours it had taken her. The ground was soggy with small circles of muddy water everywhere. Erom looked down with annoyance at the thin line of mud clinging to the hem of her blue trouser. Plucking a tissue from her handbag, she brushed hard at the hem for several minutes. She stopped when her anxious ministrations seemed to produce no result and flicked the tissue into the open mouth of the small green bin in the bus. She walked a few feet from the bus, feeling her confidence return with every step she took. The headscarves that kept her hair hidden had been abandoned in the village, her long hair swept back and held fast at the nape of her neck with a black velvet band. The last time she checked her reflection in the small handheld mirror in her bag, she had been satisfied with the full eyebrows that arched naturally and the pale pink eye shadow on her eyelid. She knew her eyes were brightened with the black of the kohl she had applied and her lips shone with the lip-gloss she carried around with her.
Umari Ayim is a lawyer, writer and poet. Umari has always had a passion for writing since she was a little girl living in the bustling city of Lagos. As a member of the Literary and Debating Society of her secondary school, Umari served as the director of poetry and also wrote stage plays for the society. Her first book, a novel, ‘Twilight at Terracotta Indigo’ won the ANA/NDDC Flora Nwapa Prize for Women Writing in 2011. Her second book, a collection of poems titled ‘Inside My Head’ won the ANA Poetry Prize the following year in 2012. As a social commentator and gender activist, Umari has also published several articles published in both traditional and online media platforms.
And Here’s Another Excerpt
Umari Ayim is an award-winning writer with a respectable body of work both in prose and poetry. Guardian of the Fall stubbornly refuses to fit into the genre box. Favourite line? When the Guardian tells Erom, “…Not all questions in life will be answered”. Favourite scene? The haunting one involving the murder-sacrifice of a child: for some inexplicable reason, it reminded me of the death of Ikemefuna in Things fall Apart.
– Chiemeka Garricks, author of Tomorrow Died Yesterday
The Guardian of The Fall is a beautiful blend of African myth and fantasy colliding with the modern world”. Umari Ayim awakens our five senses in the pages of his book; her words make you see, smell, hear, taste and touch the elements of the pages. She paints a beautiful image of nature encompassed by mystery and takes us an extraordinary adventure through the forests of Cross River.
– Princess Abumere, Founder, The Sunshine Book Club
You Can Get Your Own Copy of the Book Here
Quramo Publishing Limited Office
The Simi Johnson Centre, 13 Sinari Daranijo Victoria Island Lagos
+234 (0) 909 174 0210, +234 (0)1 454 7878
168 Awolowo Way, Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria
+234 (0) 803 332 0398
Shop B18, Adeniran Ogunsanya Shopping mall, Adeniran Ogunsanya Street,
Surulere, Lagos, Nigeria.
+234 (0) 709 048 5129, +234 (0) 1 730 7640.
Plot 13, Block 44, Park View Estate Entrance, Off Gerrard Road, Ikoyi Lagos,
Nigeria. +234 (0) 802 699 2535
Salamander Café Limited
5 Bujumbura Street, Off Libreville Street, Off Aminu Kano Crescent, Wuse 2
+234 (0) 809 220 4424, +234 (0) 809 220 4424
Roving Heights Books Nigeria
+234 (0) 703 203 8633, +234 (0) 909 215 8968
Do you have a question you’d like to ask the author? Please do so in the comment section, and she’ll respond. Welcome Umari!