The narrator’s brother, Nnamabia, gets into petty trouble, including faking a robbery of the family home so he can pawn his mother’s jewelry. The campus where their father teaches and they study becomes plagued by “cults” or gangs, where competition between grows deadly. Nnamabia is arrested and treated badly; the corruption of the police is apparent, as is their resentment for the school. The picture Adichie is painting is not a pretty one and this is a compelling narrative, although there is no real climax and is ultimately a disappointment.
January 29, 2007: “Cell One” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie