A profound and gorgeously wrought short memoir by acclaimed Nigerian-born author and poetChris Abani that explores his personal history and complex sense of identity through ameditation on the face.
In "The Face: Cartography of the Void," acclaimed poet, novelist, and screenwriter Chris Abanihas given us a brief memoir that is, in the best tradition of the genre, also an exploration of thevery nature of identity. Abani meditates on his own face, beginning with his early childhood thatwas immersed in the Igbo culture of West Africa. "The Face" is a lush work of art that teems withoriginal and profound insights into the role of race, culture, and language in fashioning oursense of self. Abani s writing is poetic, filled with stories, jokes, and reflections that draw readersinto his fold; he invites them to explore their own faces and the experiences that have shapedthem.
As Abani so lovingly puts it, this extended essay contemplates all the people who have touchedmy face, slapped it, punched it, kissed it, washed it, shaved it. All of that human contact mustleave some trace, some of the need and anger that motivated that touch. This face is softenedby it all. Made supple by all the wonder it has beheld, all the kindness, all the generosity of life."The Face" is a gift to be read, re-read, shared, and treasured, from an author at the height of hisartistic powers. Abani directs his gaze both inward and out toward the world around him, creating a self-portrait in which readers will also see their own faces reflected."