Looking For Transwonderland - Book Cover Illustration

Granta Books commissioned Rod Hunt to create the book cover illustration for Looking for Transwonderland, Travels in Nigeria, Noo Saro-Wiwa’s tongue-in-cheek Nigerian travel guide. The idea was to communicate the vibrant, bustling energy of Nigeria and the traffic-clogged streets of Lagos, while framing things against the Transwonderland of the title, a decrepit & decaying amusement park. Art Direction by Michael Salu.

Looking for Transwonderland won the Gold Book Award at The Association of Illustrators Images 36 Best of British Illustration Awards 2012.

Noo Saro-Wiwa was brought up in England, but every summer she was dragged back to Nigeria - a country she viewed as an annoying parallel universe where she had to relinquish all her creature comforts and sense of individuality. Then her father, activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, was murdered there, and she didn't return for 10 years.

Recently, she decided to rediscover and come to terms with the country her father loved. She travelled from the exuberant chaos of Lagos to the calm beauty of the eastern mountains; from the eccentricity of a Nigerian dog show to the empty Transwonderland Amusement Park - Nigeria's decrepit and deserted answer to Disneyland. She explored Nigerian christianity, delved into its history of slavery, examined the corrupting effect of oil, investigated Nollywood. She found the country as exasperating as ever, and frequently despaired at the corruption and inefficiency she encountered. But she also discovered that it was far more beautiful and varied than she had ever imagined, and was seduced by its thick tropical rainforest and ancient palaces and monuments. Most engagingly of all she introduces us to the people she meets, and gives us hilarious insights into the Nigerian character, its passion, wit and ingenuity.
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