Welcome to August!
It has been way too long since I’ve been here… way too long. It’s hard to believe it’s August already isn’t it? Or is that just me? Are you as excited at the idea of new Nigerian books coming into your life this month?
My admiration for Lesley Nneka Arimah was fully expressed in April. And I have carefully avoided reading any of the other stories in this collection till Farafina brings it within reach. It really does feel like Farafina announced they would be publishing this book a lifetime ago. Is that a grey hair growing out of my scalp?
The second book I’m looking forward to has been the talk of the town for a month now. I started reading in June after the lovely people at Cassava Republic sent me a galley. I’m ashamed to say I haven’t gotten very far. Not because I don’t like it, I read the first 5 chapters in one sitting, I just keep forgetting I have it because: eBook.
While I haven’t given up on the possibility that I may actually finish reading it before the Nigerian launch, I love the idea of holding/owning a physical copy.
Anyways, less talk more introduction of the books of the month:
What It Means When A Man Falls From The Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah
Release Date: August 2017
This debut collection explores the ties that bind parents and children, husbands and wives, lovers and friends to one another and to the places they call home.
In “Who Will Greet You at Home,” A woman desperate for a child weaves one out of hair, with unsettling results. “Wild,” narrates a disastrous night out which shifts a teenager and her Nigerian cousin to uneasy common ground. Three generations of women are haunted by the ghosts of war in”The Future Looks Good”. While a father struggles to protect and empower the daughter he loves in “Light”.
In the title story, in a world ravaged by flood and riven by class, experts have discovered how to “fix the equation of a person” – with rippling, unforeseen repercussions.
Evocative, playful, subversive, and incredibly human, What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky heralds the arrival of a prodigious talent with a remarkable career ahead of her.
When We Speak Of Nothing by Olumide Popoola
Release Date: August 2017
Best mates Karl and Abu are both 17 and live near Kings Cross. It’s 2011 and racial tensions are set to explode across London. Abu is infatuated with gorgeous classmate Nalini but dares not speak to her. Meanwhile, Karl is the target of the local “wannabe” thugs just for being different.
When Karl finds out his father lives in Nigeria, he decides that Port Harcourt is the best place to escape the sound and fury of London. And connect with a Dad he’s never known. Rejected on arrival, Karl befriends Nakale, an activist who wants to expose the ecocide in the Niger Delta to the world. And falls headlong for his feisty cousin Janoma.
Meanwhile, the murder of Mark Duggan triggers a full-scale riot in London. Abu finds himself in its midst, leading to a near-tragedy that forces Karl to race back home.
When We Speak of Nothing launches a powerful new voice onto the literary stage.The fluid prose, peppered with contemporary slang, captures what it means to be young, black and queer in London. If grime music were a novel, it would be this.
If grime music were a novel, it would be this.