“Lagos brings you alive. Lagos kills you. Here, you’ll be wrong about everything. Here, you won’t have anything to worry about. Lagos creates as many millionaires as it sends poor people to the mat. Here, Nature abounds as much as it self-destructs. And never, you humans, despite your beliefs and certainties, have you ever wanted to live so much. In the midst of this overflow, this too many people, this too much waste, injustices, parties and excesses. Of everything you’ve tried to ignore until now.”
French journalist Sophie Bouillon documents living in Lagos in 2020 during the COVID-19 lockdown. As a journalist, she gets out of her night to go and write the dispatch that will announce to the world that Africa, in turn, is affected by this “white virus” that is bringing the West to its knees.
In this thoughtful narrative non-fiction, Bouillon explores everyday life in Lagos through experiences from her career and personal life. In one unforgettable year, the city was rocked by explosions, evictions and protests. A city that never sleeps put to bed by the pandemic. Manuwa Street is the impressive story of a year that will end with the uprising of a people. It is also and above all a hypnotic and luminous dive into a city that never lets up, meeting men and women struggling with the din of the world.
But Manuwa Street isn’t just a disinterested documentation of a foreigner’s impression of Lagos; it is about love, uncertainty, hope and survival.₵75.00
In three critically acclaimed novels, Akwaeke Emezi has introduced readers to a landscape marked by familial tensions, Igbo belief systems, and a boundless search for what it means to be free. Now, in this extraordinary memoir, the bestselling author of The Death of Vivek Oji reveals the harrowing yet resolute truths of their own life. Through candid, intimate correspondence with friends, lovers, and family, Emezi traces the unfolding of a self and the unforgettable journey of a creative spirit stepping into power in the human world. Their story weaves through transformative decisions about their gender and body, their precipitous path to success as a writer, and the turmoil of relationships on an emotional, romantic, and spiritual plane, culminating in a book that is as tender as it is brutal.
Electrifying and inspiring, animated by the same voracious intelligence that distinguishes their fiction, Dear Senthuran is a revelatory account of storytelling, self, and survival.
WINNER OF THE NLNG NIGERIA PRIZE FOR LITERATURE
An affair between 55-year-old widow Binta Zubairu and 25-year-old weed dealer Reza was bound to provoke condemnation in conservative Northern Nigeria. Brought together in unusual circumstances, Binta and Reza faced a need they could only satisfy in each other. Binta – previously reconciled with God – now yearns for intimacy after the sexual repression of her marriage, the pain of losing her first son and the privations of widowhood. Meanwhile, Reza’s heart lies empty and waiting to be filled due to the absence of a mother. The situation comes to a head when Binta’s wealthy son confronts Reza, with disastrous consequences. This story of love and longing – set against undercurrents of political violence – unfurls gently, revealing layers of emotion that defy age, class and religion.₵120.00
The magical tales in The Whispering Trees capture the essence of life, death and coincidence in Northern Nigeria. Myth and reality intertwine in stories featuring cat-eyed English witches, political agitators, newly-wedded widows, and the tormented whirlwind, Kyakkyawa. The two medicine men of Mazade battle against their egos, an epidemic and an enigmatic witch. And who is Okhiwo, whose arrival is heralded by a pair of little white butterflies?₵95.00
An extraordinary debut novel, Freshwater explores the surreal experience of having a fractured self. It centers around a young Nigerian woman, Ada, who develops separate selves within her as a result of being born “with one foot on the other side.” Unsettling, heartwrenching, dark, and powerful, Freshwater is a sharp evocation of a rare way of experiencing the world, one that illuminates how we all construct our identities.
Ada has always been unusual. As an infant in southern Nigeria, she is a source of deep concern to her family. Her parents successfully prayed her into existence, but she becomes a troubled child, prone to violent fits of anger and grief, developing separate selves within her. Ada is more than just volatile – she is an ogbanje, born “with one foot on the other side.” When Ada travels to America for college, a traumatic event crystallizes her selves into something more powerful.
Based in the author’s realities and narrated by these selves, Freshwater maps how Ada’s life spirals in a dangerous direction as her alters – now protective, now hedonistic – move into control.
Freshwater dazzles with ferocious energy and serpentine grace, heralding the arrival of a fierce new literary voice.₵115.00
A selection of participants from the 2012 Farafina Trust Creative Writing Workshop come together in this delightful collection of 13 stories that tell of humans and human relationships. ‘Be Happy’ chronicles a woman’s journey to contentment in a marriage she has settled for. An adolescent is faced with a shocking reality while attending a Catholic boys’ school in ‘A Taste of It’. In ‘An Autodidact’s Guide to Sex-Ed’ a woman contemplates the right time to introduce her children to sex. Domestic violence is explored in ‘You Take Me for a Goat’. ‘Ladies Night’ tells of the escapades of a middle-aged married man in the city of Accra.
This collection of short stories dazzles with its simplicity and resonance. It Wasn’t Exactly Love is a profound journey into the ties that bind us.
In this collection, 19 stories speak of the myriad struggles faced by contemporary Africans. ‘Aderoye’ tells the tragic story of a life lost to tradition. A cult collects its due in ‘Pink Soap’. ‘The Little Things’ captures life in a typical Nigerian general hospital. A budding paedophile struggles with his basic urges in ‘Fighting Temptations’. In ‘A Handful of Dust’ a gay teenager struggles to find acceptance from his family.
From the participants of the 2013 Farafina Trust Creative Writing Workshop, A Handful of Dust aptly portrays the internal conflicts we suffer when the lines dividing opposing sides blur.
When seven-year-old Jedza witnesses a tragic incident involving a train and the death of his close boyhood friend in his hometown Miner’s Drift, he is convinced that his life is haunted. Now in his mid-20s, Jedza is a down-and-out electrician, moving to Harare in the hopes that he will escape the darkness and superstitions of the small town. But living in the shadowy restless atmosphere of the Avenues with its mysterious pools of water rising under musasa trees, he is tormented by the disappearance of his sister and their early encounters with ancestral spirits, the shapeshifting power of the njuzu and a vengeful ngozi. To move forward, he must stop running away and confront the trauma of his past.
An eclectic, experimental novel, Avenues by Train is a brash and confident debut by an exciting new voice.₵160.00
And Then He Sang a Lullaby is a breathtaking and captivating story of two gay men who find each other in Nigeria and are determined to love despite all that stands in their way.
August is a straight-passing track star who has left Enugu, his overbearing sisters, and an apathetic father to find himself at the University of Nigeria Nsukka. Segun is an openly gay student who is reluctant to fall in love with August, wanting only to be with a man who is comfortable with his sexuality and has the capacity to love without shame. But when the Same Sex (Marriage) Prohibition Act is passed, August and Segun must find a way to tend to their blossoming romance in a country determined to eradicate them. And even while they run into harshness and cruelty at the hands of people whose lives and loves are legal, the two young lovers find kindness, understanding, solace and comfort in the arms of each other and in unexpected places.₵140.00
It is just a regular day at the office until IT worker Osaretin finds a cryptic note on his desk that sends his day into overdrive, thrusting him into a frantic world of ruthless operatives, shape-shifting villains, portable time turners and futuristic landscapes.Looming over this magical tale are the exploits of a father he barely knew. Osaretin has no choice but to come into his own. Armed with the promise of magical powers and a bunch of eccentric companions, Osaretin must defeat the rampaging forces that threaten all that he holds dear. But is Osaretin who they believe he is? Is he really The One?The Beautiful Side of the Moon is a fantastical adventure filled with weird and wonderful characters and richly-imagined landscapes. A flight of the imagination on every page.₵135.00
A heartwarming, exciting story of friendship, wonder and dance from Waterstones Prize-shortlisted author Efua Traoré!
Jomi’s mum left when he was little to make a new life for them in Lagos, the city of dreams. When Jomi doesn’t hear from her, he decides to follow. His only starting place is a TV dance competition that his mum used to love.
Things go badly for the boy and his pet bushbaby, until he meets a crew of street kids. Together, they come up with a one-chance idea to find Jomi’s mother – and make their own dreams come true.
- A brand new novel full of joy and wonder by the author of Children of the Quicksands, shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize
- A contemporary adventure of destiny, friendship and dance set in the vibrant city of Lagos, Nigeria
- Jomi hopes to find his missing mum by dancing on a TV talent show in a story which offers emotional pull and a lot of fun!
PRAISE FOR CHILDREN OF THE QUICKSANDS:
‘A joy of a book: rich, warm, powerful storytelling’ KATHERINE RUNDELL
‘A thrilling adventure bright with the gorgeous colours of Nigeria – glorious!’ JASBINDER BILAN
‘An excellent book … rich in tradition and realism.’ HANNAH GOLD
‘[A] beautifully evoked story’ THE TELEGRAPH₵110.00
The debut fantasy novel from an award-winning Nigerian author presents a mythic tale of disgruntled gods, revenge, and a heist across two worlds
Shigidi is a disgruntled and demotivated nightmare god in the Orisha spirit company, reluctantly answering prayers of his few remaining believers to maintain his existence long enough to find his next drink. When he meets Nneoma, a sort-of succubus with a long and secretive past, everything changes for him.
Together, they attempt to break free of his obligations and the restrictions that have bound him to his godhood and navigate the parameters of their new relationship in the shadow of her past. But the elder gods that run the Orisha spirit company have other plans for Shigidi, and they are not all aligned–or good.
From the boisterous streets of Lagos to the swanky rooftop bars of Singapore and the secret spaces of London, Shigidi and Nneoma will encounter old acquaintances, rival gods, strange creatures, and manipulative magicians as they are drawn into a web of revenge, spirit business, and a spectacular heist across two worlds that will change Shigidi’s understanding of himself forever and determine the fate of the Orisha spirit company.
Age Range: 12 years and above
Ebele wishes more than anything to make Christmas with his widowed mother memorable with lots of gifts. With his mother barely able to afford food and the harsh ridicule of his friends, Ebele is disheartened. When a strange man comes to town, the boy opens his heart and home reluctantly. In return, the stranger teaches him there is more to Christmas than just gifts, and that kindness is a virtue rewarded by great fortune.₵80.00
Both wickedly entertaining and thought-provoking.
I couldn’t stop turning the page!
~ Lizzie Damilola Blackburn
Long-standing tensions between a husband, his wife, and her best friend finally come to a breaking point in this sharp domestic comedy of manners, told brilliantly over the course of one day.
What if the two most important people in your life hated each other with a passion?
The wife has it all. A big house in a nice neighbourhood, a ride-or-die snarky friend with whom to laugh about facile men, and an affectionate husband who loves her above all else. The only thing missing from this portrait is a baby. But motherhood is a serious undertaking, especially for the wife who has valued her selfhood above all else.
On a seemingly normal day, the best friend comes over to spend a lazy afternoon with the wife. But when the husband comes home and a series of confessions are made that threaten to throw everything off balance, the wife’s two confidantes are suddenly forced to jockey for their positions. Told in three taut, mesmerizing parts—the wife, the husband, the best friend—the day quickly unfolds to show how the trio’s dented visions of each other finally unravel, throwing everyone’s integrity into question – and their long-drawn-out territorial dance, carefully constructed over pivotal years, into utter chaos.
At once subversively comical, wildly astute, and painfully compulsive, The Three of Us explores cultural truths, what it means to defy them, and the fine line between compromise and betrayal, ultimately asking: who are we if not for the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves, and the people we’re meant to love?₵130.00
A gripping and intimate historical novel of a black soldier’s experience in the Second World War – a rare and moving tale of love and sacrifice.
One war, one soldier, one enduring love
1939: In a village in south-east Nigeria on the brink of the Second World War, young Obi watches from a mango tree as a colonial army jeep speeds by, filled with soldiers laughing and shouting, their buttons shining in the sun. To Obi, their promise of a smart uniform and regular wages is hard to resist, especially as he has his sweetheart Rose to impress and a family to support.
Years later, when Rose falls pregnant to another man, his heart is shattered. As the Burma Campaign mounts, and Obi is shipped out to fight, he is haunted by the mystery of Rose’s lover. When his identity comes to light, Obi’s devastation leads to a tragic chain of unexpected events.
In Rose and the Burma Sky, Rosanna Amaka weaves together the realities of war, the pain of first love and how following your heart might not always be the best course of action. Its gritty boy’s-eye view brings a spare and impassioned intensity, charging it with universal resonance and power.₵150.00