AN AFRICAN PROVERB HAS IT THAT LONG ITEMS ON A WOMAN’S TO-DO LIST WAS WHAT PREVENTED HER FROM GROWING BEARDS. CO-PUBLISHER EGHOSA IMASUEN OF NARRATIVE LANDSCAPE PRESS WAS TO HAVE BEEN IN PORT HARCOURT, 3RD FEBRUARY, FOR THE LAUNCH OF IMMINENT RIVER UNTIL THE PROVERB CAUGHT UP WITH HIM. BUT HE AND CO-PUBLISHER ANWULI OJOGWU DID SEND IN A GOODWILL MESSAGE, A CLASS ACT STUFF, TO BE READ TO THE GATHERING. WAS THAT DONE? WITH SINCERE APOLOGIES I ANSWER IN THE NEGATIVE: THE PROVERB STRIKES AGAIN! BUT WE WILL NOT ALWAYS LIVE AT THE MERCY OF THAT PROVERB; BELOW IS THEIR MESSAGE.
See our message to those gathered for your book launch today:
Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen.
It is our pleasure to welcome you to this first reading from Anaele Ihuoma’s novel, Imminent River. When Mr Ihuoma first approached our firm with the manuscript for the book, we were intrigued by its premise: A book that spanned so many years of transatlantic history would be a complicated and onerous undertaking. It was something we had to see to completion. Then came the exchange of contract drafts, that process where friendships are supposed to take a backseat to proper and official negotiations. But we believe in one thing: You do business with friends not enemies. And Mr Anaele Ihuoma believes in this too. It was an easy process coming to an understanding of what our roles would be in bringing this work to you the reading public.
Neil Gaiman, the eminent fantasy author and one of our favourite authors enjoys quoting a line from an older novelist, “A novel is a long piece of prose fiction with something wrong with it.” The process of editing, of back-and-forth between a writer and his editors is a way of struggling against the truth of this saying. It is an enjoyable, even if ultimately futile, process. And it was one that Ngozi Osu and Anaele enjoyed immensely.
Dear ladies and gentlemen, the proof of their work is in front of you. It is a masterpiece of great imagination and dogged hardwork from a writer who has put in the hours.
We hope you enjoy reading.
Anwuli Ojogwu & Eghosa Imasuen
Narrative Landscape Press.