One of the greatest joys in publishing comes from spotting fresh talent and hidden gems, and nurturing these talents to hone their voice and be able to share their stories with the world. We are always looking to add an injection of fresh energy into the literary landscape, while making sure these works get into many hands and enrich as many readers as possible. From debut listicles, to prizes and reviews, book lovers are always on the lookout for the ‘new kid on the block’ and we totally get it!
Now in our seventeenth year, our team is still delighted at every manuscript submission in our inbox, as we review and ask ourselves “could this be the author to watch”? In all of this stands our commitment to bringing stories from Africa and it’s Diaspora to global audiences, affording us the opportunity to build an archive of African literature, which we do not take for granted.
That’s why, this year, we are thrilled to be publishing two much anticipated debut voices! Coming this July, And Then He Sang A Lullaby by Nigerian author, Kayode Ani follows two gay men, August and Segun, determined to love and live free despite all that stands in their way. This is a captivating story of hope, courage and the ultimate quest for freedom in the face of violence, bigotry, and over-zealous religiosity. This is a powerful and necessary addition to the too small canon of stories about Queer Africans.
Across the continent, Zimbabwean author of Avenues by Train, Farai Mudzingwa introduces readers to Jedza, a down and-out electrician coming of age in a newly independent Zimbabwe. Haunted by a childhood accident and convinced that spiritual forces are ruling his life, Jedza leaves his small town of Miner’s Drift for bustling Harare, but soon discovers that he cannot escape the ghosts of his past so easily. Farai explores politics, spirituality, sexuality, trauma and personal strife in a heady mix that stays with you long after the final page. This thought-provoking debut hits shelves this September.
Like starting any new project, debuting a novel is a herculean task and that’s why we encourage you to support these authors by pre-ordering their books, reading, reviewing, tweeting, talking about them and sharing within your networks. These go a long way to reward the author’s hardwork and of course keep publishers like us in business.
And Then He Sang A Lullaby is set to be published July 2023 (West Africa) Avenues By Train is set to be published September 2023 (UK). Pre-order now!