Chuma Nwokolo: Critical Praise for “The Whispering Trees”



“The Caine Stories (spoiler alert): In Abubakar Adam Ibrahim’s Whispering Trees, a final year medical student, has a near-death experience in the fatal accident that claims his mother’s life. He loses his sight and in his new hopelessness his saving grace is the love of his betrothed, Faulata. He sinks into self-pity and despair, cursing and clawing all that come close. Time passes and he heals. Just as he accepts his fate, Saint Faulata loses her halo, announcing her love for another. This time a newly comatose Salim verily bangs on the gates of heaven. He is called back by the dulcet chords of a shaman’s apprentice, but on his return to consciousness he finds himself gifted with a second and more discriminating ‘sight’ – he can see the souls, not just of humans but of animals and he can commune not just with fauna but the souls of flora as well. He visits the eponymous Whispering Trees and uncovers the mystery behind the death of his childhood friend, Hamza. Salim has found his life’s mission. 

This is a short story with a moral soft centre, the spiritual successor to our ancestry of plangent orature.”

Chuma Nwokolo, publisher of the African Writing Journal, author of “The Ghost of Sani Abacha”.


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