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Sex and friendship, ambition and political intrigue, secrets and betrayal will set the fate of two slaves— Jamīla and Abimelech—in this ground-breaking debut novel.
Inspired by the only existing first-person narrative of an Abyssinian slave in Iran, Jamīla Habashī, In the Palace of Flowers recreates the opulent Persian royal court of the Qajars at the end of the nineteenth century. This is a precarious time of growing public dissent, foreign interference from the Russians and British, and the problem of an aging ruler and his unsuitable heir.
Torn away from their families, Jamila, a concubine, and Abimelech, a eunuch, now serve at the whims of the royal family, only too aware of their own insignificance in the eyes of their masters. Abimelech and Jamila’s quest to take control over their lives and find meaning leads to them navigating the dangerous politics of the royal court, and to the radicals that lie beyond its walls.
Richly textured and elegantly written, at its heart In The Palace of Flowers is a novel about the fear of being forgotten.
Formation tracks the unlikely series of events and characters that led to the creation of the modern Nigerian nation: from 1804 when the first Jihadists began their attack on a collection of independent nations to 1914 when the current shape of Nigeria was completed as a British colony through amalgamation. Formation challenges the orthodox understanding of Nigeria’s past as merely a product of colonial interference, revealing an incredibly complicated portrait of a nation with a tangled history, where slavery, violence and instability was and remains a primary organising principle for elite competition and political negotiations.
Influential figures loom large over the narrative including: Usman dan Fodio, the revolutionary Islamic reformer and founder of the Sokoto Caliphate, Efunroye Tinubu, the prominent slave-trader and political figure, Fredrick Lugard, British colonial administrator, Nana Asma’u, revered poet and teacher, Samuel Ajayi-Crowther, Yoruba linguist and first Nigerian Anglican Bishop, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, political campaigner, suffragist and mother to Fela Kuti, maverick British statesman and industrialist, Joseph Chamberlain, alongside other well-known and many less familiar names. Formation uses colourful character sketches and first-hand reporting to show how local events and characters are intertwined with global occurrences over the period.
Coming on the 60th anniversary of the end of formal colonial rule in Nigeria, Formation arrives at a critical time when the world is reawakening to the struggles of Black people re-ignited by the police killing of George Floyd and the activism around Black Lives Matter. This book grounds these struggles, guiding readers into the 19th century events of Africa’s most populous country where through slavery and colonialism, the terms of trade were calculated in human currency, creating an environment of deep-seated mistrust, animosity and a universally morbid and hard to dislodge political economy.
Princess Arabella and her friends go to the museum. There are works of different artists exhibited: some are big and others are small. In some works, you can lose yourself and others make you smile. Then the children want to go home. Why? Because they want to make their own work of art!
Featuring a host of contemporary artists including Kehinde Wiley, Yayoi Kusama, Grayson Perry and many more.
In The Palace of Flowers is an atmospheric historical novel about Jamila, an Abyssinian slave, whose fear of being forgotten, of being irrelevant, sets her and Abimelech, a fellow slave and a eunuch, on a path to find meaning, navigating the dangerous and deadly politics of the royal court. Princewill vividly recreates the court of the Iranian Shah in the 1890s, a precarious time of growing public dissent, foreign interference from the Russians and British, and the problem of an ageing ruler with an unsuitable heir. Love, friendship and the bitter politics within the harem, the court and the Shah’s sons and advisors will set the fate of these two slaves.
This collection tells the story of an emerging Africa, through the eyes of some of the youngest and most promising African entrepreneurs. Charting the stories of 17 entrepreneurs working in different industries and across Africa, Making Futures: Young Entrepreneurs in a Dynamic Africa showcases the young women and men who are taking charge of their destinies and building business enterprises and innovative non-profits to radically change their lives and the lives of their communities.
Making Futures equips readers with intimate knowledge about the markets and growth across the region, and how young creative entrepreneurs are identifying problems as opportunities and seeding growth in a continent that has been long overlooked, but is poised for explosive growth and opportunity, enabled by technology.
Nigeria Pub Date: 6th February 2019
UK Pub Date: July 2019
“The Nigerian god loves money. Because money answereth all things. You know how Nigeria is, things may be difficult, but they are always possible with money.”
In Be(com)ing Nigerian: A Guide, Elnathan John provides an affecting, unrestrained and satirical guide to the Nigerians you will meet at home and abroad, or on your way to hell and to heaven. A religious tells you It is a searing look at how power is abused, negotiated and performed in private and public; in politics, business, religious institutions and in homes. From the exploration of religious hypocrisy to inequality in matters of the heart, the collection is a jab at Nigerian society and what it means to be a Nigerian. Beyond poking fun at the holders of power, it is also a summons, a provocation and a call for introspection among all levels of society. As is often said in Nigeria, when you point with one finger, there are four others pointing back at you.
This engrossing read is a must-have for seasoned Nigerian-watchers and a uniquely informative guide for newcomers to Nigeria, with its tongue-in-cheek look at Nigeria’s relationship to itself and the world, both culturally and politically.
“We decided to put together this collection of thirty narratives to correct the invisibility, the confusion, the caricaturising and the writing out of history.”
This stirring and intimate collection brings together 30 unique narratives to paint a vivid portrait of what it means to be a queer Nigerian woman. Covering an array of experiences – the joy and excitement of first love, the agony of lost love and betrayal, the sometimes-fraught relationship between sexuality and spirituality, addiction and suicide, childhood games and laughter – She Called Me Woman sheds light on how Nigerian queer women, despite their differences, attempt to build a life together in a climate of fear.
Through first-hand accounts, She Called Me Woman challenges us to rethink what it means to be a Nigerian ‘woman’, negotiating relationships, money, sexuality and freedom, identifying outside the gender binary, and the difficulties of achieving hopes and dreams under the constraints of societal expectations and legal terrorism.
She Called Me Woman is full of beautifully told stories of resistance and resilience, joy and laughter, heartbreaks and victories, collecting the realities of a community that will no longer be invisible.
Editors: Azeenarh Mohammed, Chitra Nagarajan and Rafeeat Aliyu | Print ISBN: 978-1911115595 | E-Book ISBN: 978-1911115601 | Format: Flapped paperback | No. of Pages: 344 | Pub. Date: 26th April 2018