How To Avoid Corner Corner Love

Posted in Photobooks (general) by Alec Soth on January 29, 2010

I’m currently in Ann Arbor, Michigan as part of the Little Brown Mushroom World Tour. Tonight my host dropped me off at Dawn Treader Book Shop. The treasure for the day was ‘How to Avoid Corner Corner Love and Win Good Love From Girls.’ It isn’t a photobook, but it has an excellent photographic cover and only cost me $6.50.

The book comes from Onitsha, Nigeria. It isn’t dated, but probably comes from the mid-1960’s. It exemplifies the genre called African Market Literature. It represents Africa’s first popular literature and is closely tied to their oral storytelling tradition. Part of the pleasure of this genre is what the African Market authority Kurt Thometz calls ‘Mad English.’ Note some of the other fantastic titles in the series (click to enlarge):

9 Responses

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  1. zellar said, on January 30, 2010 at 1:02 am

    Damn you.

  2. Alec Soth said, on January 30, 2010 at 8:07 am

    My previous post on African Market Literature mentioned Kurt Thometz. I did a little research on Mr. Thometz and found out that (1) He is a Minnesota native (2) he is an interesting guy:

  3. rob said, on January 30, 2010 at 10:29 am

    How to Get a Lady In Love!!!


  4. bob black said, on January 30, 2010 at 2:57 pm


    got two famous translations quotes which should be African Market novels….

    from a temple in Bangkok, in English:

    “It is forbidden to enter a woman even a foreigner if dressed as a man.”

    and my favorite, from a car rental place in Tokyo than my student once sent me…

    “When passenger of foot heave in sight, tootle the horn. Trumpet him melodiously at first, but if he still obstacles your passage then tootle him with vigor.”

    i’m working on a photo essay entitled

    “if he still obstacles your passage, tootle him with vigor” :))))


  5. Alec Soth said, on January 30, 2010 at 4:33 pm

    Thanks Bob. If we ever meet, I hope you’ll tootle me with vigor.

  6. Cary said, on January 31, 2010 at 11:06 am

    Dawn Treader is a great bookstore. I found and purchased a nice copy of Carl de Keyzer’s “East of Eden” there in 98 or so.

  7. Karolina Karlic said, on February 2, 2010 at 12:54 am

    what? NO WAY!
    “Money hard to get because the World is Hard”

    only you Alec, only you!

  8. little round muskrat said, on February 3, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    Alec Soth claims to be on a World tour, but I have my doubts.
    This has recently come up:

    And I have personally received a report that the crack Brown Mushroom staff has been trying to pin this crime on a drifter that plays the violin and sleeps inside a fridge.

    Is this so called “world tour” just a cover? Will we soon see that the poor Boy Scouts have been used so Mr Soth can make another of his well known videos?


  9. bob black said, on February 5, 2010 at 7:43 am

    Alec ;))

    well, if my wife allows (she will, she’s totally openminded) and your wife allows, i’ll toot u with vigor when we meet :))))

    but only if we can exchanged hand-made books :))))…

    i’ve made one too :))

    tootles ;))


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