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The month in books

January’s selection takes Natalie Haynes from Nigeria today to Victorian England

By Natalie Haynes   January 2012

January is the month of transition, at least if we follow its name to the Roman god Janus, whose two faces look back to the old year and ahead to the future. So in keeping with the dual nature of the month, the literary world has turned out an array of books which play on double-nationalities and dual categories.

Noo Saro-Wiwa grew up in Surrey with her mother, while her father, the anti-corruption activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, was campaigning in Nigeria. She spent her summer holidays there, and hated it. Then her father was executed, and not unreasonably, she didn’t want…

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