Additional Book Information

Series: NYRB Classics
ISBN: 9781681374291
Pages: 168
Publication Date: April 14, 2020

People of the City

by Cyprian Ekwensi


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When People of the City was published in 1954 it was immediately acclaimed as the first major novel in English by a West African to be widely read throughout the English-speaking world. People of the City tells the story of a young crime reporter and dance-band leader in a great West African city who comes to see that what he can do for the developing country in which he lives is more important than the considerable and varied personal pleasures he can find in the hectic life of the city. Ekwensi's delicious first book has the swagger, bravado, and elation of the great bands of West Africa.


People of the City tells the story of a young crime reporter who doubles as a bandleader in a large west African city. As one British critic wrote, the novel said more about west Africa than 50 government reports.
—Shola Adenekan, The Guardian

One of the most prolific African writers of the twentieth century.
—Charles Larson