Book Review: I, Eric Ngalle by Eric Ngalle Charles

I received a copy of this book from Bookville Bookstore Port Harcourt, Nigeria as one of the books we will be discussing at the book conversation session for the Bookville August Fair scheduled to hold on Monday, August 8, 2022. I will be moderating the session featuring this book and another book as well. Thank you @bookvilleworldph.

This book is a memoir that documents the author’s experiences spanning a period of two and a half years where he finds himself, a victim of human trafficking. Ngalle is transported from his home country Cameroon to far away Russia where he is stranded as he doesn’t understand the language and has no money. He is forced to survive the brutally cold weather and violence prone streets by changing his identity more than once. This is a heart wrenching story that throws more light on how innocent people become victims of the human trafficking cartel due to their quest to escape poverty from the third world to find greener pastures in the West.

This was a difficult read and I had to take time off to pause and take in what I had just read. While I am aware that such things happen, it was still shocking to read the author’s account of what he and many others had to go through, living far away from home. Although this happened in the late 90s’, human trafficking is still on the rise and it is memoirs like this that will help get the word out there on the dangers of getting into the hands of people who are out to deceive and dupe others. I believe with the advancement in technology, it is now easier to verify information and almost everyone or school is a phone call or email away. The parts of this memoir that didn’t hold me were the author’s flashbacks on his childhood days. I understand it was there to bring some context to how he saw life and how that in turn affected his character and choices, I found most of it quite repetitive.

Nevertheless, it was quite an enlightening read and I highly recommend it. However, if you don’t have a stomach for violence and the likes, kindly approach this book with caution.

I look forward to having a conversation with the author next week.

Rating: 3 Stars

Published: October 1st 2019 by Parthian Books

Pages: 200

Genre: Non Fiction

The Author:

Eric Ngalle Charles is a Cameroonian writer, poet, playwright, and human rights activist based in Wales. He was awarded the Creative Wales Award 2017/2018 for his work on the topics of migration, trauma, and memory. In his autobiography I, Eric Ngalle: One Man’s Journey Crossing Continents from Africa to Europe (2019), he recounts his journey to Europe, where he spent several years seeking refuge. He sits on the boards of Literature Wales and Aberystwyth Arts Centre Advisory Group and begins his PhD at King’s College London in October 2021

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