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Uwem Mbot Umana

Books by Uwem Mbot Umana

dead and other short stories

This anthology is a salute to the art of teaching and fatherhood. Three broad themes run through this volume. The first theme is that of fatherhood. The writer Umana reflects on what makes his father his superhero. He moves on to memoirs of his stay in Abu Dhabi right from when he first arrived Abu Dhabi. Some of the tales are filled with hilarious moments, while some are quite serious in nature bordering on to the philosophical. His recounts as a teacher is quite interesting because it shows what teaching is all about and the many facets of the teacher that sometimes are underestimated. He portrays the teacher as a nurse, father figure, counsellor, life moulder, disciplinarian, historian, social worker, sociologist, judge, lawyer, police officer etc. Most importantly the teacher as a listener and discerner, someone who has to discern his students in order to be able to facilitate learning. Every student is a story, every student is trying to say something which many times is often ignored. Umana puts his stories out in a very simple way yet with contemplative undertones. This volume is a highly recommended read.

i made his day

In this volume, Umana continues with some of the highlights of his life as a teacher and social documentarian, which reveals his attention to details that most people may ignore. This is what makes his writing a little different. That attention to cultural sensitivity and ideology once again makes his work to tend towards the philosophical. He is able to still maintain the beauty of simplicity in narration. His daughter Pearl(9 years old at the time) wrote ‘The Pearl’ and is a part of this anthology. Umana takes on the role of an observer who crafts what he sees. He runs into an old student of his who decides to tag along with him for grocery shopping and made himself a pain to Umana. The way Umana narrates this experience has a tinge of humour and a sense of perspective to it making it an authentic read. This volume also contains a typical day at Sparks School and life’s advice from an old friend. Is the society gradually deteriorating to, where nobody seeks for counsel anymore except from some overpriced therapists? This volume no doubt makes an enjoyable read.

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