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The Book

Imprisoned for ten years for his activism, Prof, as he is popularly known, returns from prison a broken man. Unable to relate to the country he once fought for, he resolves to live a life of darkness, pushing away friends and family, and embracing his status as an urban legend in the neighbourhood, until a knock at the door shakes his new existence.

His new visitor is Desire, an enigmatic young woman who has grown up idolising Prof following a fateful encounter in her hometown of Maroko as a child. Tentatively, they form a complicated friendship, that grows from debates about life and politics, to their personal histories. However, the darkness of the room becomes a steady torment, as Prof’s inability to face his demons threatens to drive Desire away from good.

A Small Silence is an intimate and evocative exploration of Nigeria’s political history, the alienating effects of trauma and the restorative power of the dark and silence.

Out: 5th August 2019

“A lyrical, thought provoking portrait of a people and a society caught in a moment of change. A compelling page turner—I couldn’t stop reading. A strong debut. Jumoke Verissimo is a strong voice from whom we expect to hear more.”
Helon Habila
Author of Oil on Water


Jumoke Verissimo writes poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction. She has published two collections of poetry; I am memory won the Carlos Idzia Ahmad Prize’s First Prize for a first book of Poetry, and the Second Prize for the Anthony Agbo Prize first book of Poetry, and The Birth of Illusion was shortlisted for the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) Poetry Prize and longlisted for the NLNG Prize. She has also published a chapbook with Saraba Magazine, titled Epiphanies (2015). Her poetry has been translated into French, Chinese, Japanese, Macedonian, and Norwegian. Jumoke is currently enrolled in a Ph.D. programme in the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta, Canada. A Small Silence is her debut novel.

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