English, Department of


The Road to the Country

Date of this Version



Virginia Quarterly Review, May 14, 2015


Copyright 2015 Chigozie Obioma


To get to the country, make sure your car is in good shape.

You must fill your tank with gas and carry more in a cask.

Take enough food, medicine, clothes, water, a mat, and a blanket.

You will not need to carry a book or a camera,

Your heart must be strong enough to bear what you’ll see in the country.

You’d first need to have a lobotomy of the heart to be able to take photos.

For what you will see in the country is anathema to the human eye.

With these in place, you should set off before daybreak, at the first cock crow when the world is the color of a tadpole and the vagaries of the universe hang suspended in midair like a film stilled in motion. For, the country is far.

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