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Fiction Friday: “Debriefing” by EC Osondu


Voice of AmericaGuernica has published “Debriefing”, a short story by EC Osondu, winner of the 2009 Caine Prize for African Writing for his story “Waiting” and author of Voice of America.

Osondu was born in Nigeria and is now living in Rhode Island and working at Providence College as the Assistant Professor of English. “Debriefing” is a fictional account of a Nigerian immigrant’s advice to other new arrivals to America:

Do not buy a car. Do not drive. Ignore advice to obtain an international driver’s license before your arrival. American cops do not know what an international driving license is. Or they pretend not to know and what they don’t know makes them angry. You do not want to face an angry American cop. Driving is a slippery slope. Driving is trouble. Driving is tickets. Driving is a cop asking you for your license and registration. Before you know it, you are standing before an elderly grim immigration judge.

* * *

Avoid parties organized by our people. Arguments and fights break out over politics, over politicians, over girls, over anything, over nothing. Drunken arguments. Especially after imbibing a cocktail of Hennessey and Irish Cream. Neighbors call the cops. Cops ask for identification. Remember you do not have one. I know we are a party-loving people so if you think you can’t live without it, go to YouTube, there’s more entertainment on YouTube than you’ll find at any Nigerian party. Nobody was ever arrested for watching YouTube videos.

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Image courtesy The Tanjara


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