Mwalimu Johnnie MacViban’s new novel explores statelessness

Mwalimu Johnnie MacViban (The Makuru AlternativeA Ripple from Abakwa) will publish his first novel in thirteen years. The novel, which will be published in August 2021 by Bakwa Books is part neo-noir, part political novel and part postmodern romp.

His novel, A Ripple from Abakwa, which was shortlisted for the EduArt Jane and Rufus Award, bemoans the changes that occurred at the turn of the century, as well as the cost of perennial dictatorship on the lives of everyday citizens. With his much anticipated new novel, Twilight of Crooks, Mwalimu Johnnie MacViban establishes himself as an essential voice in Cameroonian fiction. Drawing from the past to explore some of the most important contemporary issues, Twilight of Crooksexamines what it means to be stateless and a citizen of nowhere.

Mwalimu Johnnie MacViban is a senior journalist and news analyst who has worked with CRTV and Cameroon Tribune. He is the winner of the 1994 Editor’s Choice Award for Poetry by the US National Library of Poetry and his novel, A Ripple from Abakwa, was shortlisted for the 2008 EduArt Jane and Rufus Blanchard Award for Fiction.

Set in 1977, Twilight of Crooks opens with an investigation into the murder of an oil tycoon. During a trip to Bonn, Germany, Jason Makelekele, who is investigating the murder, is disavowed by his country in an attempt to crush the investigation and becomes a stateless person. While he wonders if he will ever see the family and friends he has left behind, Cold War Germany is historically charged with what will be remembered as the German Autumn—a set of events associated with kidnappings by the Red Army Faction.

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