Summary of on black sisters street

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summary of on black sisters street

On Black Sisters Street by Chika Unigwe

On Black Sisters Street tells the haunting story of four very different women who have left their African homeland for the riches of Europe—and who are thrown together by bad luck and big dreams into a sisterhood that will change their lives.

Each night, Sisi, Ama, Efe, and Joyce stand in the windows of Antwerp’s red-light district, promising to make men’s desires come true—if only for half an hour. Pledged to the fierce Madam and a mysterious pimp named Dele, the girls share an apartment but little else—they keep their heads down, knowing that one step out of line could cost them a week’s wages. They open their bodies to strangers but their hearts to no one, each focused on earning enough to get herself free, to send money home or save up for her own future.

Then, suddenly, a murder shatters the still surface of their lives. Drawn together by tragedy and the loss of one of their own, the women realize that they must choose between their secrets and their safety. As they begin to tell their stories, their confessions reveal the face in Efe’s hidden photograph, Ama’s lifelong search for a father, Joyce’s true name, and Sisi’s deepest secrets—-and all their tales of fear, displacement, and love, concluding in a chance meeting with a powerful, sinister stranger.

On Black Sisters Street marks the U.S. publication debut of Chika Unigwe, a brilliant new writer and a standout voice among contemporary African authors. Raw, vivid, unforgettable, and inspired by a powerful oral storytelling tradition, this novel illuminates the dream of the West—and that dream’s illusion and annihilation—as seen through African eyes. It is a story of courage, unity, and hope, of women’s friendships and of bonds that, once forged, cannot be broken.
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Published 03.04.2019

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On Black Sisters Street tells the haunting story of four very different women who have left their African homeland for the riches of Europe - and who are thrown.
Chika Unigwe

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Rate this book. On Black Sisters Street tells the haunting story of four very different women who have left their African homeland for the riches of Europe - and who are thrown together by bad luck and big dreams into a sisterhood that will change their lives. Each night, Sisi, Ama, Efe, and Joyce stand in the windows of Antwerp's red-light district, promising to make men's desires come true - if only for half an hour. Pledged to the fierce Madam and a mysterious pimp named Dele, the girls share an apartment but little else - they keep their heads down, knowing that one step out of line could cost them a week's wages. They open their bodies to strangers but their hearts to no one, each focused on earning enough to get herself free, to send money home or save up for her own future.

Though these women have their profession as prostitutes in common, their backgrounds are very different. Sisi, Ama, Efe, and Joyce spend their nights posing in windows, bringing men's fantasies to life, sharing their bodies but not their hearts. These women's histories stay closed within, and they trust no one with their dreams, not even each other. When a brutal murder takes the life of one of their own, the women are brought together in a twist of fate and they realize the more they talk and share with each other, the better off they are in finding the killer and remaining alive themselves. Their stories reveal so much about their pasts and the women discover that it may not be too late to realize their dreams of the future. Click here to see the rest of this review Best part of story, including ending: This story was a wake up call in many ways but mostly in the light it shed on the underbelly of prostitution in a society where it is legal.

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Share on:. Sisi, Ama, Efe and Joyce are prostitutes, working in Antwerp's red-light district. They arrived in Belgium through the auspices of Dele, a grasping, talent-spotting Lagos pimp, who arranges illegal entry into Europe for young women in return for a large percentage of their earnings for many years. Chika Unigwe's debut novel opens with three of the women preparing for a night touting their wares in the display windows of Antwerp. Their roommate and sister prostitute, Sisi, is missing, and we shortly learn that she has been found murdered. The rest of the novel comprises Sisi's history and experiences immediately prior to her death, interspersed with Ama, Efe and Joyce's stories of the lives that led them to their current situation.

Apr 26, ISBN On Black Sisters Street tells the haunting story of four very different women who have left their African homeland for the riches of Europe—and who are thrown together by bad luck and big dreams into a sisterhood that will change their lives. They open their bodies to strangers but their hearts to no one, each focused on earning enough to get herself free, to send money home or save up for her own future. Then, suddenly, a murder shatters the still surface of their lives. Drawn together by tragedy and the loss of one of their own, the women realize that they must choose between their secrets and their safety. On Black Sisters Street marks the U.

Not many novelists would wander around the seedy red-light district of Antwerp in a mini-skirt and thigh-high boots to carry out research. But this is what Nigerian writer Chika Unigwe did for her novel about the lives of African sex workers in the Belgian city. She also spent time persuading these women to share their stories. Her diligence has paid off. On Black Sisters' Street is a probing and unsettling exploration of the many factors that lead African women into prostitution in Europe, and it pulls no punches about the sordid nature of the job.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Alicia G. says:

    This summary of On Black Sisters Street includes a complete plot overview – spoilers included! We're considering expanding this synopsis into a full-length.

  2. Anna N. says:

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