This teaser is from Oil on Water, a novel by Helon Hablila. Mr. Habila is the author of Measuring Time and Waiting for an Angel (winner of the Commonwealth Prize and the Caine Prize for African Writing).
Oil on Water was recently published in paperback by W. W. Norton; here’s the publisher’s synopsis:
In the oil-rich and environmentally devastated Niger Delta, militants have kidnapped the wife of a British oil executive. Sensing the opportunity for his first big break, Rufus, a young journalist, takes the assignment to find her and negotiate her release. Paired with his former hero, Zaq, whose journalistic heyday has passed, the two embark on a journey full of danger and unintended consequences.
And the teaser, the opening paragraph (two sentences):
I am walking down a well-lit path, with incidents neatly labeled and dated, but when I reach halfway memory lets go of my hand, and a fog rises and covers the faces and places, and I am left clawing about in the dark, lost, and I have to make up the obscured moments as I go along, make up the faces and places, even the emotions. Sometimes, to keep on course, I have to return to more recognizable landmarks, and then, with this safety net under me, I can leap onto less certain terrain.
This story has already grabbed me; the setting of the Niger Delta recalls Christie Watson’s Tiny Sunbirds Far Away, and the introduction to Rufus’ story – complete with memory issues - recalls the protagonist in What Alice Forgot.
Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by Miz B of Should Be Reading. Let us know what you’re reading this week – share a few teaser sentences.