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Ukamaka Olisakwe’s heart-wrenching novel tells the story of the naïve and trusting Ogadinma as she battles against Nigeria’s deeply-ingrained patriarchal systems in the 1980s, a time of coups, food shortages and religious extremism.
After a rape and unwanted pregnancy leave her exiled from her family in Kano, thwarting her plans to go to university, she is sent to her aunt’s in Lagos and pressured into a marriage with an older man.
As their whirlwind romance descends into abuse and indignity, Ogadinma is forced to channel all of her independence and resourcefulness into finding her voice and strength in the face of abuse and cultural expectations.
Ukamaka Olisakwe was born in Kano, Nigeria, and now lives in Vermillion, SD. A UNESCO-World Book Capital “Africa 39” honoree and a University of Iowa’s International Writing Program Fellow, she is a winner of the VCFA Emerging Writer Scholarship and the SprinNg Women Authors Prize, a finalist for the Miles Morland Scholarship and the Brittle Paper Award for Creative Nonfiction, and runner-up for the Gerald Kraak Prize, among other honors. She is the founder of Isele Magazine and The Body Conversation.