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Bites of Insanity

Thursday 12 February 2015, author(s)-editor(s) Nsah Mala

In this collection of poems Nsah Mala casts a critical compassionate gaze at the predicaments in the lives of present day Cameroonians. The poet lambasts power abuse in Cameroon and Africa. He decries the lost glory of traditional values sacrificed at the altar of ingratiation and materialism. Insalubrities are condemned, ignorance and its ramifications satirised, and wanton destruction of the environment indicted. With a fascinating richness of imagery, Mala conveys the disillusionment, bitterness and traumas of ordinary Cameroonians - young and old - debased with impunity by the lethal and sterile grip on power of the high and mighty. The moral depravity and human frailties mused about in this exceptionally compelling collection have no room in Mala’s paradise of Cameroon.

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ISBN 9789956792672 | 132 pages | 203 x 127mm | 2015 | Langaa RPCIG, Cameroon | Paperback

4 Book Reviews

  • Bites of Insanity 13 February 2015 08:20, author(s)-editor(s) Charles Ngiewih Teke, University of Munich, Germany

    In this collection Nsah Mala ascertains his status as a committed social critic in very uncompromising terms. His contemptuousness of postcolonial states’ ab/uses of power in the bastardisation of citizens/subjects is undoubted. The decadence and moral depravity in which a directionless nation finds herself are pointers of impending destruction unless the situation is redressed.

    Charles Ngiewih Teke, University of Munich, Germany

  • Bites of Insanity 13 February 2015 08:21, author(s)-editor(s) Yvonne I. NGWA, PhD, Lecturer, ENS Yaoundé

    Nsah Mala resorts to a rich repertoire of poetic devices, vivid description, wacky terms, dark humour, and scatology—among others—to raise critical issues about the human condition in modern times.

    Yvonne I. NGWA, PhD, Lecturer, ENS Yaoundé

  • Bites of Insanity 8 May 2015 11:07, author(s)-editor(s) Irmagard Anchang Langmia

    Nsah Mala represents a young generation of emerging acadenergetic poetic voices making a difference in contemporary Anglophone Cameroon Literature in the twenty-first century, sleeves unruffled. His latest poetry collection Bites of Insanity echoes the challenge of living in a Kamerun where aspects of social life represent dramatic episodes of catatonic “victual houses,”  environmental hazards, “innocent files,” “cut-throat French cuisines,” “Mbeh’s bird,” Ukr-Syri-Boked war havoc’, and “colossal colonies of anopheles.” Divided into ten parts, and written in free verse with mostly dated signifiers of the author’s personal event timeline at the end of each poem in terms of location and space, we can only rest assured that Mala continues to join a conversation that espouses on the mental state of les Citoyens Camerounais and man, constantly trapped in an elusive battle for perennial survival, against corruption and power mongering.

  • Bites of Insanity 8 May 2015 11:08, author(s)-editor(s) Bongasu Tanla Kishani

    Nsah Mala’s Bites of Insanity catches my tastes, precisely my mind’s eyes, by its grace of originality. It spells what Contemporary Cameroon Poetry can do, once it strikes a balance between extremes of every sort. For, Bites of Insanity sets the tone language of its composition to affect every grammatical and cultural unit, if not every concrete item, in an enriching and insightful manner. Mala’s poetry is as creatively dense as the fathomless and uncountable items that nature unfolds before our human minds and senses. Many will lean a lot as I have done from this outstanding collection that cries not only for the “Wreathed of the Earth” in and of his “Beloved Country,” and the world at large, but also for executing our human justice at best in time. This work merits more than an award; it should actually become a pedagogical textbook in most of our African and Cameroon institutions of learning, especially as it strikes a balance between cultural interplays of creativity and humour, universal exigencies and contemporary tastes and needs, within his own bamboo pin like a soòya our vendors stitch for us to buy, eat and quench our taste of hunger in life à la Camerounaise.

    —Bongasu Tanla Kishani, PhD, Writer and Retired Professor
    Yaoundé, 04 May 2015