Before Efe came to Belgium, she imagined castles and clean streets and snow as white as salt. Belgium, '...a country wey dey Europe. Next door to London'.At the house on Zwarterzusterstraat four very different women have made their way from Africa to claim for themselves the riches of Europe. Sisi, Ama, Efe and Joyce are prostitutes, the girls who stand in the windows of the red-light district, promising to make men's dreams come true - if only for half an hour and fifty euros.The murder of Sisi, the most enigmatic of the women, shatters their already fragile world and as the women gather to mourn, the stories they have kept hidden are finally told.Drawn together by tragedy, the women reveal, each in her own voice, what has brought them to their present lives. Joyce, a great beauty whose life has been destroyed by war; Ama, whose dark moods manifest a past injustice; Efe, whose efforts to earn her keep are motivated by a particular zeal and finally, Sisi, whose imagination takes her far beyond the squalor of her reality. These are stories of terror, of displacement, of love, and of a sinister man named Dele...Raw, vivid and suffused with the power of the oral story-telling tradition, On Black Sisters' Street is a moving story of the illusion of the West through African eyes, and its annihilation. It is also, however, a story of courage, of unity and of hope.
"An important and accomplished novel that leaves a strong aftertaste. Unigwe gives voice to those who are voiceless, fleshes out the stories of those who offer themselves as meat for sale, and bestows dignity on those who are stripped off it." * Independent *
"This powerful book will leave you haunted" -- Ali Smith
"On Black Sisters' Street is ultimately a story of female strength and resilience... the book draws on a rich oral story telling tradition to illuminate the West from an under-represented perspective" * Aesthetica *
"This harrowing subject matter is handled deftly by Unigwe, with lyrical insight and splashes of dark humour, in a book that is both thought-provoking and eye-opening" -- Doug Johnstone * The List *
"Lively and engaging...Unigwe has a good ear for idiosyncratic language...On Black Sisters' Street is a pleasure to read: fast-paced, lucidly structured and colourful" -- Zoe Norridge * TLS *