The Amnesty International Book Club is pleased to announce our May 2017 title 419 by Will Ferguson. This title has been recommended by guest reader Nino Ricci, the Book Club’s first guest reader in January 2014. In this guide, you’ll find Ricci’s reflection on the book and the time he spent teaching in Nigeria, as well as discussion questions, an Amnesty background section, and an action you can take to improve Canada’s role in international mining activities.
419 provides an in-depth look into a Nigerian email scam that most people are familiar with. The novel starts with Laura learning of her father’s suicide. We soon find out that he had fallen for an email scam and as a result, remortgaged the house she grew up in, leaving her mother with almost nothing. Weaving through Laura’s story and that of three other characters from various parts of Nigeria, 419 provides readers with adventure, thrill, and, at times, heartbreak.
The Amnesty International Book Club hopes that through the reading experience you reflect on how people are impacted by the extractive sector, including oil, mining, and gas. We’ve included background information on Shell’s presence in the Niger Delta. Then, consider adding your voice to Amnesty International’s call for an extractive sector Ombudsperson in Canada.