Graceland, by Chris Abani (Picador, $14). This novel takes place in Lagos, Nigeria, where novelist Abani was born. (He lives now in L.A.) Sixteen-year-old Elvis (yes, as in Presley) hopes to make it out of Maroko, the Lagos ghetto — a “swamp city,” he calls it — where he’s lived since his father fell on hard times. Is doing impersonations of the King of Rock-and-Roll his ticket out? Is there any ticket out of the postcolonial hell Elvis inhabits, where people are driven to sell anything they have and where abuse, corruption and torture are as common as Coca-Cola?
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