Book Digest

Book Digest: Kobby Ben Ben, Wole Talabi, João Melo, Nyani Nkrumah

We wrap up book news for our readers in our regular Book Digest segment with books from Kobby Ben Ben, Wole Talabi, João Melo, and Nyani Nkrumah.

No One Dies Yet by Kobby Ben Ben

Publisher: Europa Editions
Date: August 31, 2023
Genre: Fiction
Language: English
Where to find it: Click here.

Kobby Ben Ben

Kobby Ben Ben
Kobby Ben Ben

Kobby Ben Ben was born in Ghana, where he is a prominent book reviewer and runs the African Book Club and the Ghana Must Read website. His eccentric Instagram book blog, bookworm_man, has caught the attention of Booker Prize-winner Bernardine Evaristo, as well as Maaza Mengiste and Petina Gappah, among others. No One Dies Yet is his first novel.

No One Dies Yet

No One Dies Yet by Kobby Ben Ben
No One Dies Yet by Kobby Ben Ben

A genre-breaking novel from a powerful new African voice

2019. The Year of the Return. It has been exactly 400 years since the first slave ships left Ghana for America. Ghana has now opened its doors to Black diasporans, encouraging them to return and get to know the land of their ancestors.

Elton, Vincent, and Scott arrive from America to visit preserved sites from the transatlantic slave route, and to explore the country’s underground queer scene. Their activities are narrated by their two combative guides: Kobby, their guide to Accra’s privileged circles; and Nana, the voice of tradition and religious principle. The pair’s tense relationship sets the tone for what becomes a shocking and unsettling tale of murder that is at times funny, at times erotic, yet always outspoken and iconoclastic.

And Suddenly The Flowers Withered And Other Stories by João Melo

Publisher: Europe Books
Date: July 2, 2023
Genre: Fiction, Short story collection
Language: English
Where to find it: Europe Books, Amazon.

João Melo

João Melo
João Melo

João Melo, born in Luanda, is an author, journalist, and professor. He studied in Coimbra, Luanda, and Rio de Janeiro. He is a founder of the Angolan Writer ́s Association. He was a member of the parliament (1992-2017) and a minister of Angola (2017-2019). His works have been published in Angola, Portugal, Brazil, Italy and Cuba. A number of his writings have been translated into English, French, German, Arabic, and Chinese. He was awarded the 2009 Angola Arts and Culture National Prize in literature.

And Suddenly The Flowers Withered And Other Stories

And Suddenly The Flowers Withered And Other Stories by João Melo
And Suddenly The Flowers Withered And Other Stories by João Melo

A short story collection from one of Angola’s leading writers.

Wade in the Water A Novel By Nyani Nkrumah

Publisher: Harper Collins
Date: January 17, 2023
Genre: Fiction
Language: English
Where to find it: Harper Collins.

Nyani Nkrumah

Nyani Nkrumah
Nyani Nkrumah

Nyani Nkrumah was born in Boston and raised in Ghana and Zimbabwe. She developed her love of reading and writing from her mother, who taught English Literature and Language and encouraged her children to recite poems and Shakespeare soliloquies. After graduating from Amherst College with a dual major in Biology and Black Studies, Nkrumah received her master’s at the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. from Cornell University. She has lived in the Washington, DC, region for the past twenty years.

Wade in the Water A Novel By Nyani Nkrumah

Wade in the Water A Novel By Nyani Nkrumah
Wade in the Water A Novel By Nyani Nkrumah

Set in 1982, in rural, racially divided Ricksville, Mississippi Wade in the Water tells the story of Ella, a black, unloved, precocious eleven-year-old, and Ms. St. James, a mysterious white woman from Princeton who appears in Ella’s community to carry out some research. Soon, Ms. St. James befriends Ella, who is willing to risk everything to keep her new friend in a town that does not want her there. The relationship between Ella and Ms. St. James, at times loving and funny and other times tense and cautious, becomes more fraught and complex as Ella unwittingly pushes at Ms. St. James’s carefully constructed boundaries that guard a complicated past, and dangerous secrets that could have devastating consequences.

Told in two voices, Ella’s and Ms. St. James’s, and set around richly developed characters, this riveting, page turning coming of age story will keep readers entranced until the last shocking revelation.

Shigidi and The Brass Head of Obalufon by Wole Talabi

Publisher: Penguin Random House, Masobe Books
Date: September, 2023
Genre: Fiction
Language: English
Where to find it: Masobe Books , Penguin Random House.

Wole Talabi

Wole Talabi
Wole Talabi

Wole Talabi is an engineer, writer, and editor from Nigeria. His stories have appeared in Asimov’s, F&SF, Lightspeed, and several other publications. He has edited three anthologies: Africanfuturism (2020), which was nominated for the Locus Award in 2021.

Shigidi and The Brass Head of Obalufon

Shigidi and The Brass Head of Obalufon by Wole Talabi
Shigidi and The Brass Head of Obalufon by Wole Talabi

The debut fantasy novel from an award-winning Nigerian author presents a mythic tale of disgruntled gods, revenge, and a heist across two worlds.

Shigidi is a disgruntled and demotivated nightmare god in the Orisha spirit company, reluctantly answering prayers of his few remaining believers to maintain his existence long enough to find his next drink. When he meets Nneoma, a sort-of succubus with a long and secretive past, everything changes for him.

Together, they attempt to break free of his obligations and the restrictions that have bound him to his godhood and navigate the parameters of their new relationship in the shadow of her past. But the elder gods that run the Orisha spirit company have other plans for Shigidi, and they are not all aligned–or good.

From the boisterous streets of Lagos to the swanky rooftop bars of Singapore and the secret spaces of London, Shigidi and Nneoma will encounter old acquaintances, rival gods, strange creatures, and manipulative magicians as they are drawn into a web of revenge, spirit business, and a spectacular heist across two worlds that will change Shigidi’s understanding of himself forever and determine the fate of the Orisha spirit company.


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