Nothing Now Remains: A Novel
by Ernest O. Izedonmwen

"He wanted to tell her the pains he went through when he saw her picture with Egbe."

This novel tells the story of Osaru. Originally from Nigeria, he had lived in the United States for several years. To everyone's shock, he returned to Nigeria without a clear explanation, leaving his family and friends to wonder what happened in America. It is later revealed that he was in prison, but his conviction was overturned. He was set free but deported because he had overstayed his visitor's visa. As a result, he was barred from the United States for ten years. Unfortunately, he had no choice but to leave his daughter behind, leaving the mother of his child to care for her independently. Throughout this journey, Osaru had to rebuild his life in Nigeria while maintaining a long-distance relationship with his daughter, Roses.

Izedonmwen successfully and convincingly addresses the cultural clash between American culture and Nigerian culture in his novel. For example, when Osaru was living abroad, he got married without his family's consent and blessing. However, in Nigerian tradition, it is necessary to get the permission and blessing of the father before getting married. In one scene, Osaru's uncle, Jaja confronts him for not seeking his blessing and consent when he got married. In this case, Osaru's father had passed away, so his brother, Jaja, automatically represented him. The author underlines the cultural fact that even though Osaru was living in a different country, he still needed to get his family's approval. Izedonmwen also gives a detailed account of Osaru's emotions when he returned home, expertly showing that, indeed, it can be overwhelming to readjust to a life lived in the past and the changes attached to it.

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