A member of the African elite groping its way out of the background of slavery and colonialism, Baako sees his education as preparation for lifework of socially innovative artist. His family, more pragmatic, expects an elite resumé to convert into power and wealth in the real world here and now. Unable to harmonize countervailing needs with wider social aspirations, both family and individual drift toward confrontation and inexorable loss.
We have to say this novel is the epitome of the isolation one feels when they try to engage in transformative work in this neocolonial era that Africans all around the world find themselves in. Armah paints the vivid picture that education in the neocolonial era is not to develop the nation, but is a means for personal advancement…personal advancement meaning the ability to buy oneself and family consumer goods. Another heart wrenching tale from one of Africa’s best innovative artist, Fragments will definitely touch your soul, and make you value those relationships that are productive in building a biophilic future.