by Chika Unigwe - £9.99 CCV (Vintage) (2010)
paperback ISBN 13: 9780099523949 | ISBN 10: 0099523949
Before Efe came to Belgium, she imagined castles and clean streets and snow as white as salt. Belgium, ‘...a country wey dey Europe. Next door to London'.
At the house on Zwarterzusterstraat four very different women have made their way from Africa to claim for themselves the riches of Europe. Sisi, Ama, Efe and Joyce are prostitutes, the girls who stand in the windows of the red-light district, promising to make men’s dreams come true – if only for half an hour and fifty euros.The murder of Sisi, the most enigmatic of the women, shatters their already fragile world and as the women gather to mourn, the stories they have kept hidden are finally told.
Drawn together by tragedy, the women reveal, each in her own voice, what has brought them to their present lives. Joyce, a great beauty whose life has been destroyed by war; Ama, whose dark moods manifest a past injustice; Efe, whose efforts to earn her keep are motivated by a particular zeal and finally, Sisi, whose imagination takes her far beyond the squalor of her reality. These are stories of terror, of displacement, of love, and of a sinister man named Dele...
Raw, vivid and suffused with the power of the oral story-telling tradition, On Black Sisters’ Street is a moving story of the illusion of the West through African eyes, and its annihilation. It is also, however, a story of courage, of unity and of hope.
(Price & availability last checked: October 2018)
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In booklists: Prostitution and Sex Work, World Fiction - Europe, World Fiction - Belgium, Writers by Surname - U, Black Fiction - World, In categories: Feminism & Women, Society, Welfare, Justice & the State, Sexuality / Relationships, Violence & Abuse, Work & Workers Rights, Fiction, World - Europe, Black, Asian & Other Diasporas,