African Religious Beliefs Clash with Christian Traditions in New Fiction

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In “The Pagans’ Medals,” Dr. Oliver Akamnonu juxtaposes Africa’s paganism and polygamy with Christianity and its practices of monogamy and priestly celibacy.

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From Oliver Akamnonu, the prolific author of 18 books—including the award-winning “Rap to Mars” and the widely read “Arranged Marriage and the Vanishing Roots”—comes a brand new fiction that will captivate readers’ hearts and offer enriched knowledge about religion and culture. The Pagans’ Medals explores African religious beliefs, including polygamy and paganism, vis-à-vis Christianity’s practice of monogamy and priestly celibacy in western civilizations.

Set mainly in the heartland of Africa and part of Europe and America, the book introduces characters that depict the hidden and manifest tenets of human society, then and now. Readers will meet Nadike, the five-year-old boy who was kidnapped and sold into slavery, but later changed his destiny; Emenike, Nadike’s father who practiced paganism and wanted to have many wives while enjoying material benefits of the monogamous church; Okike, the yam thief; Nze Okwaji, the slave baron; and The ATM King, a serial murderer who ruled the jail house.

It also takes on a fascinating historical plot. The African religious beliefs and traditions were strong before and immediately following the advent of Christianity. These rich religious beliefs and traditions, which included belief in polygamy, belief in one supreme God with many lesser gods, and abhorrence of antisocial behavior such as the stealing of yams and kidnapping, sustained these African societies. However, these were soon to come into conflict with the advent of Christianity and western civilization.

The desire of Nadike to wear blessed medals and to become a celibate priest was to come into head-on collision with that of his pagan father’s desire. Emenike wants to have the opulence associated with priestly celibacy while rejecting a closure of his family tree in the absence of a male heir. He brought the attendant conflicts to prominence in a society that found itself at the crossroads between modernity and pagan beliefs.

Overall, The Pagans’ Medals will appeal to a wide range of readers as it seamlessly brings together the old and the new, history and fiction, tradition and modernization, African and Western worlds, seriousness and fun, satire and real life. Moreover, 30 hand-drawn images make for additional relaxation as readers turn every page. One of the characters, Nze Okoye-nta, sums up this appeal in his assertion: “The seed coat of this delicious fruit may appear sour, but the precious jewels are hidden in the core.”

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About the Author
Oliver Akamnonu is a physician, with specialization in anesthesiology. An author and poet, Dr. Akamnonu had his early education at St. Brigid’s School Enugu, Nigeria, and Government Secondary School Afikpo, where he was a college scholar and School Captain. He finished his education at the University of Ibadan medical and postgraduate schools. A former state chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association, former member of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria MDCN, member of the Board of Federal Medical Center Owerri, recipient of the Distinguished Medical Practitioner (DMP 2005) award, and chairman of the Akamnonu Foundation for the Poor, he became an author after he immigrated to the United States and has over 18 published books to his credit. A Nigerian-born citizen of the United States, Dr. Akamnonu lives in Massachusetts, U.S.A., with his wife, Dr. Chika Agnes Akamnonu. They have four children.

Other books by Akamnonu include: Suppers of Many Dishes Part I; Suppers of Many Dishes Part II; The Gods Have Not Yet Spoken; Taste of the West; Nation of Dead Patriots; Bature; The Honorable; Coming Late to America; Earth’s Man of Color: Genes, Agenda, or Jeans; Soldier Ants of War; The Trial of Monogamy; the award-winning book, Rap to Mars; A Spot to Perch; Comedy of Naked Vampires; Konganoga: Mauling the Polity; and the widely read book, Arranged Marriage and the Vanishing Roots.

The Pagans’ Medals * by Dr. Oliver Akamnonu
New “Taste of the West”
Publication Date: June 26, 2013
Trade Paperback; $23.99; 454 pages; 978-1-4836-5764-6
Trade Hardback; $34.99; 454 pages; 978-1-4836-5765-3
eBook; $3.99; 978-1-4836-5766-0

Members of the media who wish to review this book may request a complimentary paperback copy by contacting the publisher at (888) 795-4274 x. 7879. To purchase copies of the book for resale, please fax Xlibris at (812) 355-4079 or call (888) 795-4274 x. 7879.

For more information on self-publishing or marketing with Xlibris, visit http://www.Xlibris.com/. To receive a free publishing guide, please call (888) 795-4274.

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