Author Joe Osi
Title Silent Whispers
Genre Fiction (Lantern Literary series)
Published 2015 by Lantern Books (a division of Literamed Publications (Nig.) Limited)
In the novel, an eleven-year-old girl dies after a brief illness that defies all solutions. Her death heralds many others, of both young and old. The natives say the gods are angry. The government says everything is under control. But a reporter from a Lagos-based tabloid discovers otherwise…
Silent Whispers literarily critiques the unquestioned beliefs in superstition rampant in Africa, particularly Nigeria the setting of the novel. Superstitious beliefs are not restricted to Africa alone, they are found in almost every culture of the world. What however borders the author is how Africans over the time have refused to subject the validity of these beliefs to empirical investigation.
“One should not ask questions about some of these things, for there are mysteries and wonders surrounding the earth…” (Silent Whispers, page 8), this is the commonly held opinion on superstition in Africa.
Silent Whispers is a must read for everyone—advanced or young readers, lecturers/ teachers, students/pupils, traders/artisans, everyone who can read. You think it’s a mere hype? Here are five important reasons, amongst others too numerous to mention, why you must get your own copy of the novel to read:
Silent Whispers is not just a narrative, it is a literary narrative embroidered with apt use of literary devices—imagery, simile, metaphor, personification, etc. The rich literariness makes the novel an interesting read, much more interesting than watching movies! So, get a copy of Silent Whispers if you want to read for pleasure. Also, Silent Whispers, due to its literary value, is highly recommended for higher students of language and literature who need to improve their art of literary criticism.
Though Silent Whispers treats critical issues, it is written in simple and easy to read English. This makes it recommendable also at the secondary school level. So, if you are a secondary school student or a young reader, don’t be intimidated. You can perfectly read and understand Silent Whispers. Besides, some of the main characters in the novel are young, e.g. Amaechi Ugwu and Talatu. This makes the novel a fascinating read for you, young readers, because it will evoke a sense of attachment in you.
Culture/ History Education
Silent Whispers, no doubt, is a literary piece. However, it is also a compendium of cultural education. It will bring you close to the traditional Nigerian society (ies) and challenge you to “think twice” about those cultural superstitions you have always believed uncritically. Mind you, Silent Whispers does not necessarily discard superstitions, but it will nudge to look at superstitions with “your other eye”.
Through this novel, you will get to know more about the Nigerian cultures, occupations, history, and politics. And you will be thrilled with some folktales narrated therein!
Silent Whispers is suitable to be read as a professional guide for medical practitioners, politicians, journalists, independent researchers, and so on. So, if you belong to any of these professions and you care about updating your knowledge, Silent Whispers is a must read for you.
Disaster/ Epidemic Management
Silent Whisper is an orientation and enlightenment project. It is a book that calls for verification and demystification of superstitions. If I may ask, if you are sick, where will you go for treatment? Hospital? Church or Mosque or Shrine? Do not answer this until you read Silent Whispers. The novel will either validate your answer or demystify your misbelief. Silent Whispers will practically enlighten you on how to handle epidemics whether as an ordinary member of the society or as a health specialist.
Indeed, Silent Whispers is a novel worthy of being sponsored by government and relevant NGO’s for mass publication and distribution to the general public. It will go a long way in creating awareness on dealing with epidemic in the general public, particularly in this era of characterised with prevalent health challenges, e.g. Ebola virus.
Silent Whispers, a debut novel by Joe Osi, is a book for all. It is available at bookshops nationwide and online at www.lantern-books.com.