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Extended Audio Sample Say You’re One of Them Audiobook, by Uwem Akpan Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Uwem Akpan Narrator: Dion Graham, Robin Miles, Kevin R. Free Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2009 ISBN: 9781607884460
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Uwem Akpan’s stunning stories humanize the perils of poverty and violence so piercingly that few readers will feel they've ever encountered Africa so immediately.

The eight-year-old narrator of “An Ex-Mas Feast” needs only enough money to buy books and pay fees in order to attend school. Even when his twelve-year-old sister takes to the streets to raise these meager funds, his dream can’t be granted. Food comes first. His family lives in a street shanty in Nairobi, Kenya, but their way of both loving and taking advantage of each other strikes a universal chord. 

In “My Parents’ Bedroom,” Akpan takes us far beyond what we thought we knew about the tribal conflict in Rwanda. The story is told by a young girl whose parents are asked to do the previously unimaginable in order to protect their children. This singular collection will also take the reader inside Nigeria, Benin, and Ethiopia, revealing in beautiful prose the harsh consequences for children living in Africa.

Akpan’s voice is a literary miracle, rendering lives of almost unimaginable deprivation and terror into stories that are nothing short of transcendent.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Say You’re One of Them is one of those collections that drops the reader into the midst of wonderfully rendered worlds, and compellingly so. I hope it finds the wide readership it merits.”

    Oscar Hijuelos, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Mambo Kings Play Songs for Love

  • “[A] startling debut collection...Akpan is not striving for surreal effects. He is summoning miseries that are real...He fuses a knowledge of African poverty and strife with a conspicuously literary approach to storytelling filtering tales of horror through the wide eyes of the young.”

    New York Times

  • “Akpan wants you to see and feel Africa, its glory and its pain. And you do, which makes this an extraordinary book.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “Awe is the only appropriate response to Uwem Akpan’s stunning debut, Say You’re One of Them, a collection of five stories so ravishing and sad that I regret ever wasting superlatives on fiction that was merely very good.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Uwem Akpan’s searing Say You’re One of Them captures a ravaged Africa through the dry-eyed gaze of children trying to maintain a sense of normalcy amid chaos.”


  • “Uwem Akpan, a Nigerian Jesuit priest, has said he was inspired to write by the ‘humor and endurance of the poor,’ and his debut story collection...about the gritty lives of African children—speaks to the fearsome, illuminating truth of that impulse.”


  • “Nigerian-born Jesuit priest Akpan transports the reader into gritty scenes of chaos and fear in his rich debut collection of five long stories set in war-torn Africa. Akpan’s prose is beautiful and his stories are insightful and revealing, made even more harrowing because all the horror—and there is much—is seen through the eyes of children.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Haunting prose...A must-read.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • Winner of the 2009 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book: Africa
  • A 2009 Oprah’s Book Club Selection
  • A New York Times bestseller
  • A USA Today bestseller
  • Finalist for the 2008 Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Prize for First Fiction
  • Nominated for the Guardian First Book Award
  • Nominated for the Story Prize for Short Fiction
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About the Author
Author Uwem Akpan

Uwem Akpan was born in the village of Ikot Akpan Eda in southern Nigeria. After studying philosophy and English at Creighton and Gonzaga universities, he studied theology for three years at the Catholic University of East Africa. He was ordained as a Jesuit priest in 2003 and received his MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan in 2006. “My Parents’ Bedroom” was one of five short stories by African writers chosen as finalists for the Caine Prize for African Writing. In 2007, Akpan began a teaching assignment at a Jesuit college in Harare, Zimbabwe.

About the Narrators

Dion Graham, from HBO’s The Wire, also narrates The First 48 on A&E. Winner of more than a dozen Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award for best narration, he has performed on Broadway, off Broadway, internationally, in films, and in several hit television series. His performances have been praised as thoughtful and compelling, vivid and full of life.

Robin Miles began her audiobook narration in 1994 covering many different genres and has won twenty-nine AudioFile Earphones awards. In 2014 she won the prestigious Audie Award for Best Narration in the Inspirational/Faith-Based Nonfiction category. Her film and television credits include The Last Days of Disco, Primary Colors, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Law & Order, New York Undercover, National Geographic’s Tales from the Wild, All My Children, and One Life to Live. She regularly gives seminars to members of SAG and AFTRA actors’ unions, and in 2005 she started Narration Arts Workshop in New York City, offering audiobook recording classes and coaching. She holds a BA degree in Theater Studies from Yale University, an MFA in acting from the Yale School of Drama, and a certificate from the British American Drama Academy in England.

Kevin R. Free is an audiobook narrator and six-time winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award. Known for his work with young-adult novels, he has read titles by Rick Riordan, Walter Dean Myers, and Joe Haldeman. In 2011 he was named a Best Voice in Young Adult and Fantasy from AudioFile magazine for his narration of Myers’ The Cruisers: Checkmate.