The Echo of a Troubled Soul
by Joy C. Agwu

From the website of The Manuscript Publisher:
The Echo of a Troubled Soul by Joy C. Agwu. Published by The Manuscript Publisher, 2013.

The Echo of a Troubled Soul is the début novella by Nigerian-born author, Joy C. Agwu. It is both a fascinating and insightful story that remains uplifting and life-affirming even as it delivers a cautionary tale.

"Always wear knowledge like a wristwatch: bring it out when you need it because, when you stop learning, you will start dying. Life is too short and it is easier to forgive than to take the path of revenge."

Following a spate of tragedies Tom is left alone; weighed down by bereavement and consumed with grief. He goes in search of comfort and companionship and, unfortunately, finds them in alcohol. However this turns out to be the wrong step in the right direction. It is his irrational behaviour during one drunken episode that brings Tom, Larry, Jane and Nora together. Rescuing Tom from his descent into self-destruction proves to be a fateful decision. Little do they realise at the time, but they each hold the key to unanswered questions in their own lives too.

The narrative is delicately woven to the point of appearing effortless, deeply layered with measures of warmth, sadness, humour as well as much learning. It contains a rich vein of storytelling that is reflective of the African oral tradition and characteristic of African literature in general:

"Literature" can also imply an artistic use of words for the sake of art alone. ... traditionally, Africans do not radically separate art from teaching. Rather than write or sing for beauty in itself, African writers, taking their cue from oral literature, use beauty to help communicate important truths and information to society. Indeed, an object is considered beautiful because of the truths it reveals and the communities it helps to build. - George Joseph.

The appearance of a book like The Echo of a Troubled Soul is bound to be well-received within African literary circles. But should also help to awaken Irish and European audiences to the wealth of extraordinary talent that exists there, and just waiting to be discovered.

Born in Nigeria, Joy C. Agwu now resides with her family in the south-west of Ireland. Her writing reflects feelings of compassion and care for the human well-being. This in turn is influenced and informed by her strong faith, her work in the community and her studies in the area of psychology. She writes intelligently and perceptibly on subjects to do with family, community, parenting, individual suffering. Her second book, a short story/critical essay entitled, Is Suicide the Answer? will be appearing shortly while her first full length novel, I Live by the Gun is also scheduled for publication in 2013.

The Echo of a Troubled Soul by Joy C. Agwu is published by The Manuscript Publisher (ISBN 978-0-9571157-6-7). It is available to buy in all good bookshops as well as online. RRP €8.99 plus P&P.