A largely allegorical exploration of the loneliness of an existence based on an alien world-view, Martin Egblewogbe’s The Waiting is a collection rooted in metropolitan Ghana, but its primary territory is the human mind. Juxtaposing his training as a physicist against his curiosity about local myth, he creates a universe that’s both entertaining and erudite. In A Photograph of K & S, Smiling, a completely self-obsessed man, returned home after his father’s death, attempts to explain away his unremarkable life based on one perceived slight from his youth; in The Gonjon Pin (title story for the 2014 Caine Prize anthology) a genius working on a program to predict lottery numbers is stumped by the appearance of an intruder’s disembodied genitals on the wall of his computer engine room; The Making, Rain and Back to the Halls explore futility in different ways, while Atta explores life after death – a theme that reoccurs in a much bleaker guise in The Crwoling Caterpillar. Often Kafkaesque in its isolation of characters and a pervading sense of powerlessness, The Waiting nevertheless maintains a constant hum of humour, nowhere more so than in The Going Down of Pastor Mintumi – in which a pastor who has discovered the pleasures of the flesh late in life overindulges with hilarious consequences. The title story, The Waiting, is judgement day in a twisted mind, filled with the kinds of questions that haunt a life on earth, which, ultimately, is the quest of all art.