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Friday, 12 April 2013

Significant Review of Biola Olatunde's Numen Yeye

It is with immense pleasure to have read a glowing review of Numen Yeye, by Biola Olatunde, in the Nigerian newspaper The Hope. This is a regional broadsheet with a readership of at least one million people. More importantly, this is a Nigerian review of a novel that IFWG Publishing has taken great pains in ensuring the story is readable for Western World English readers, and yet retain the style and quality of the Nigerian idiom. It appears we have passed with flying colors from a local point of view - and we are relieved and very proud of this achievement.

The review, titled 'Predetermination and man's earthly mission', was written by the reviewer, Sunmola Olowookere.

Here are a few snippets from the full-page review:

"This work of fiction by this seasoned writer, Biola Olatunde is not a novel for the ordinary man, it is for deep thinkers who are striving for higher and ennobling recognitions and the human link with the spiritual world."

"The novel, Numen Yeye, is about intertwining worlds and it teaches about predestination. The novel also has satiric qualities as the readers become aware of the ills of polygamy and extended families. It also gently scoffs at Nigerians' show of religiousity which had not helped in solving our problems. It also encourages female education."

"It is a work rich with cultural practices of the Yoruba people. While the author does not bore the reader with traditional mumbo-jumbo, it has brought home to us that we cannot forget our roots and our links to what has been before our existence."

"The author, in this work, has outdone herself. Her understanding of man's existence and the importance of understanding his purpose in life is portrayed in Imole Ife [main character] and her desire to understand her mission in life."

"Really, I want to say the readers who know Biola Olatunde and the richness of her prose could not have expected anything less than the dexterity she exhibited in Numen Yeye."

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

From The Editor: April 2013 Newsletter

In this editorial I will do my last retrospective for this year, focusing on our publications of 2012.

2012 was in many ways a good year for IFWG, as we had perfected a number of our publishing processes. However, we also were affected by a few natural events as well as personal that caused some delays in several of our titles, and in which we are only now starting to recover from. Nevertheless we published a fair number of titles.

We kicked the year off very quickly with the publication of Ferryman, by Jonathan Wise, a wonderful post-apocalyptic tale with strong grounding in characterization and original storyline. I cannot say much more about this story as the twists require me to give too much away.

Shortly after Jonathan's title, we published Blackthorns of the Forgotten by Bree Donovan, a story with many unique facets. This story is courageous as it explores the nature of love in many dimensions, and yet maintains a great pace of contemporary fantasy set largely in modern Ireland.

Our own Esme Carpenter published her first novel Against the Elements in late January 2012 (yes, we published three novels in January 2012!), an early teen (middle grade) fantasy of relentless pace set in a world reminiscent of Ancient Greece. This was our second middle grade novel and since then, IFWG Publishing has viewed this audience as an important target for future publications.

Later in the first half of 2012 we published KnorraSky: The Earth Blade, volume 2 of the KnorraSky series, by R.A. Knowlton. This heroic fantasy piece fluidly continues from the conclusion of KnorraSky: The Deception, further developing well-loved characters and introducing new. This was our first sequel, so it holds a special place in our hearts.

Aside from tornadoes and flooding, later in the year we published Bounty Hunter by MF Burbaugh, an Arthurian-inspired fantasy that explores the nature of revenge and faithfulness to higher causes (and, may I add, a little saucy in places). A great adventure.

Elizabeth Lang's sequel to The Empire, The Rebels, was published, to high acclaim by critics. Again, characters loved and hated continue their drama, and some very interesting new characters are introduced.

Geraldine Fitzsimmons' Unlikely Hero was published, which is a police and espionage thriller - powerful and riveting to readers - set in Ireland and the USA, during the 'Troubles'. This was one of the few non-speculative fiction novels published in the year.

Biola Olatunde's Numen Yeye was published later in 2012, an amazing work of contemporary African fantasy, in many ways submerged deep into Nigerian culture, the wonder of their religion, but also an expose of the damage of superstition. This work was a long, great labor of love, as it had to retain the nuances of Nigerian idiomatic English while still be 'translated' sufficiently into US English to be appreciated by Western audiences.

We published the third sequel of the year, Brumbies in the Snow, second of five children's novels in the Brumbies series written by Paula Boer, set in outback Australia - a beautifully illustrated horse story (Rowena Evans is the illustrator). This book has already been very well received in Australia, as was Brumbies.

Talking about Australia, in December 2012 we published Tasmanian Michael B Fletcher's collection of tales about two rogues, Pickel and Weasle who live in sewers beneath a royal palace - Kings of Under-Castle. This is our first collection of short stories by a single author, and only the second anthology since Page Dancers in 2010.

So that is it - a good collection of titles for 2012, with no small number of books written for the younger folk, three sequels, and a collection of short fiction.

Next month I am hoping to provide you with news of our new titles, and upcoming books for later in the year.

Gerry Huntman
Chief Editor
IFWG Publishing