Lost Souls

Vincent, the Nigerian narrator of Segun Afolabi's impressive new novel, Goodbye Lucille, has left London and his girlfriend for 1985 Berlin. Working as a photographer, he spends his free time there getting drunk with his friends: Clariss, a transsexual ex-marine turned escort girl; B, a Cameroonian working in removals; and Tunde, a Nigerian playboy who selects girlfriends largely on the basis of their breast size. They are all in exile of a kind. Ari, Vincent's Kurdish neighbor, has been driven to paranoia by the violence he has witnessed. His friend Ezmir kills himself after "an interview with immigration officers that had...

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