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Birds of Our Land is a child’s guide to West African birds with the aim of introducing children to some of the many fascinating birds that they may not be familiar with. It explains the basic features of birds and key things to note in observing them and is accompanied by beautiful paintings by illustrator Robin Gowen of 25 birds representing the major species in the region.
Love Offers No Safety: Nigeria’s Queer Men Speak tells the stories of a marginalized community in their own words. These collected narratives include stories of love, heartbreak, tenderness, and struggle, and show that there is no one universal queer experience. Love Offers No Safety also serves as an exploration of what it is to be a man–how societal pressures foster toxic masculinity, and the barriers this creates for learning to understand one another, also challenges society at large to re-think its idea of what being a man entails and what this means for society itself and how such concepts limits men and women’s freedom to be, to live and to understand each other.
Ato hasn’t visited his grandmother’s house since he was seven. He’s heard the rumors that she’s a witch, and his mother has told him he must never sit on the old couch on her porch. Now here he is, on that exact couch, with a strange looking drink his grandmother has given him, wondering if the rumors are true. What’s more, there’s a freshly dug hole in her yard that Ato suspects may be a grave meant for him. Meanwhile at school, Ato and his friends have entered a competition to win entry to Nnoma, the island bird sanctuary that Ato’s father helped created.
But something is poisoning the community garden where their project is housed, and Ato sets out to track down the culprit. In doing so, he brings his estranged mother and grandmother back together, and begins healing the wounds left on the family by his father’s death years before.
“This multi-generational, cross-cultural anthology […] is infused with multiple perspectives, aesthetics, preoccupations and sensibilities. It offers up a broad sense of community between Black women writers who are consciously interrogating what it means to be human from our unique perspectives.” Bernadine Evaristo
Featuring the work of Black women poets from Botswana to Brazil, in this collection, we encounter ancestors who made love, just for the sake of love, and women who die with each orgasm while attempting to mark the extent of their own humanities.
This is for the nuns, the singers, the clowns, the diviners and the conjurers who reject the constant attempt to clean up history. The wildly imperfect women of slick braids, shiny skin and succulent lips, building new homes from clouds for future legions.
Here congregate the women, womxn and womyn who do not believe in tough love that disguises hurt just to prove a point. They dance with the dead with exquisite feet, cheekbones high, reflecting their mothers’ smiles.
Because no one claps for martyrs, these dirty/pretty women learn to walk cities like they own them, choosing the battles of their hearts.
If this collection teaches anything, it is that love is always messy, that our sacrament requires wet wipes and that we are just flesh and bone honing practice.
Contributors include iconic poets such as Nikki Giovanni, Diana Ferrus, Miriam Alves, Jackie Kay, NourbeSe Phillip, Cheryl Clarke, Lebogang Mashile, Staceyann Chin, Olumide Popoola, Makhosazana Xaba, Koleka Putuma, Safia Elhillo, Gabeba Baderoon, Warsan Shire, Ladan Osman, Anni Domingo, Elizandra Souza, and Jumoke Verissimo.
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?
Better Never Than Late charts the unconventional lives and love affairs of a group of Nigerian migrants, making their way in Belgium. The collection is centred around Prosperous and her husband Agu, and the various visitors who gather at their apartment each week. These interconnected stories explore their struggles and triumphs, from unhappy marriages (of convenience or otherwise), to the pain of homesickness, and the tragic paradox in longing to leave Nigeria so that you may one day return to it.
Nights of the Creaking Bed is full of colourful characters involved in affecting dramas: a girl who is rejected in love because she has three brothers to look after; a middle aged housewife who finds love again but has an impossible decision to make; a young man who can’t get the image of his naked, beautiful mother out of his mind; a child so poor he has to hawk onions on Christmas day – and many others. Some, initially full of hope, find their lives blighted by the cruelty of others, or by being in the wrong place at the wrong time, or by just not knowing the “right” people.
Corruption, religious intolerance, gratuitous violence, the irresponsible attitudes of some men to their offspring and the importance of joy are some of the big themes that underlie this memorable collection.
Olivia Evezi’s childhood is a happy one; her days are spent listening to highlife records and poring over colourful postcards from Germany. When she leaves her hometown of Warri behind to live out her Enid Blyton fantasies in a boarding school in Lagos, instead of adventure and lacrosse, she is met with punishments, endless chores and hazing rituals.
Olivia’s restlessness takes her to Germany, her mother’s homeland, where she is thrown into a hidden world of workers and migrants; a world of constant vigilance, where a piece of paper can hold the key to survival. Olivia finds that she is destined to always be an outsider – too white for Nigeria and too black for Germany – and so must learn to define herself and her place in the world beyond the labels that have been given to her: exotic, foreign, oyinbo.
German Calendar, No December is a candid and reflective coming of age tale about learning to navigate the world, with the help of good music, good books, good friends, and a touch of courage.