Edward is a generous and caring family man, who has built a successful life around him. Tragedy strikes however, when he is gunned down one day by violent criminals. His widow and the young family that he leaves behind, continue to enjoy the support of Edward’s wider family circle after his death. They are also supported by Edward’s close friend, Mr Adams and his family.
Turmoil enters the ranks when Edward’s older brother, Robert, citing local traditions, announces his intention to take Edward’s place, by moving into the family home of his late brother. Robert’s own family, from whom he is estranged, oppose his bid. His father also strongly warns against this course, "lest tragedy and pestilence befall you." He advises Robert that, "any tradition that does not add value to our lives has to be thrown away."
I Live by the Gun is Joy C. Agwu’s third book and continues her preoccupation with themes of family, faith, community, the ties that bind. In I Live by the Gun however, the subject of individual autonomy arises, making it, perhaps, her most challenging work to date. It can be read as an affirmation of human rights, as they pertain to women and children in particular, weighed down by the expectations of ‘culture and traditions’. Such claims, when invoked in an anachronistic sort way, merely serve as a pretext to impose conditions of servitude upon people.
I Live by the Gun by Joy C. Agwu Fiction, African literature, Christian fiction 138 printed pages, paperback First published in 2014. Published with the assistance of The Manuscript Publisher ISBN: 978-1494453251
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