WINNER of the James Tait Black Prize 2021. WINNER of The Republic of Consciousness Prize 2021.
Lush and frothy, incisive and witty, Shola von Reinhold's decadent queer literary debut immerses readers in the pursuit of aesthetics and beauty, while interrogating the removal and obscurement of Black figures from history.
Solitary Mathilda has long been enamored with the 'Bright Young Things' of the 20s, and throughout her life, her attempts at reinvention have mirrored their extravagance and artfulness. After discovering a photograph of the forgotten Black modernist poet Hermia Druitt, who ran in the same circles as the Bright Young Things that she adores, Mathilda becomes transfixed and resolves to learn as much as she can about the mysterious figure. Her search brings her to a peculiar artists' residency in Dun, a small European town Hermia was known to have lived in during the 30s. The artists' residency throws her deeper into a lattice of secrets and secret societies that takes hold of her aesthetic imagination, but will she be able to break the thrall of her Transfixions?
From champagne theft and Black Modernisms, to art sabotage, alchemy and lotus-eating proto-luxury communist cults, Mathilda's journey through modes of aesthetic expression guides her to truth and the convoluted ways it is made and obscured.
A Girl Called Eel
"It is rare to say about a book that you have never read anything like it, and this is one such case." Elle "A pure diamond, a magnificent event. A mind-blowing debut novel." Le Point
Eel is a 17-year-old girl who leaves her rock on the archipelago of Comoros to lose herself at sea. She drifts between two states of mind and between two islands 'in a hollow maze', evoking her memories so as to forget nothing and so as to delay the inevitable outcome.
Confronted with the pressing immediacy of imminent death, Eel recounts the story of her whole life in one long, sustained breath, in a series of brief couplets.
A story told in a single sentence, A Girl Called Eel is a memorial, a reckoning, and a powerful narrative imbued with a prevailing sense of urgency.
Shortlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize, the Saboteur Awards, the Shirley Jackson Award and the Jhalak Prize. A startling debut short story collection from the award-winning author of Butterfly Fish. Okojie's collection of stories are captivating, erotic, enigmatic and disturbing. Irenosen Okojie's gift is in her understated humour, her light touch, her razor-sharp assessment of the best and worst of humankind, and her unflinching gaze into the darkest corners of the human experience. Okojie has created a world with errant Londoners caught between here and the hereafter, where insensitive men cheat on their mistresses and can only muster enough interest to fall for one- dimensional poster girls and where brave young women attempt to be erotically empowered at their own peril. Sexy, serious and at times downright disturbing, this brilliant debut collection sizzles with originality.
"Precise and illuminating." - Bernardine Evaristo OBE.
Shortlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize, the Saboteur Awards, the Shirley Jackson Award and the Jhalak Prize.
Lovelorn aliens abduct innocent coffee shop waitresses. Ghosts of errant Londoners haunt the Underground, caught between here and the hereafter. Brave young women seek erotic empowerment... at their own peril.
These are the worlds of Speak Gigantular, the startling debut short story collection from acclaimed author Irenosen Okojie MBE. Understated in her humour and razor-sharp in her observations of humankind, Okojie's eclectic anthology offers an unflinching gaze into the darkest corners of the human experience.
Sexy, serious, and often downright disturbing, this brilliant debut collection sizzles with originality.
"A work of rare confidence, luminous imagery and full of hidden sharp edges." - Nina Allan, winner of the Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire.
"Irenosen Okojie's Speak Gigantular should, if there is any literary justice, place her in a circle with writers like Shirley Jackson, Margaret Atwood, and Angela Carter." - New Orleans Review.
Winner of the Betty Trask Award 2016.
"A novel of epic proportions... I fully expect to see Butterfly Fish on many an award nomination list." - Yvette Edwards
"A stunningly well-written book, juggling different timescales with great skill. Benin itself is vividly imagined in a historical narrative that runs in parallel with the contemporary London one. It is a wonderful novel." - Simon Brett OBE
"A wonderful, richly drawn novel, cleverly juxtaposing scenes from everyday London with African folklore and mysticism." - Joanne Harris
A stunning debut from the author of Speak Gigantular.
A fragile outsider living in London, Joy struggles to pull the threads of her life back together after her mother's sudden death. Emptiness consumes her and, needing to fill the gaps of her loss, she finds she is drawn to a unique artefact inherited from her mother - a warrior's head cast in brass that belonged to a king in eighteenth century Benin, Nigeria.
Joy is haunted by a beautiful young woman who appears in her photographs, familiar yet beguilingly distinct, the woman trails her wherever she goes. Joy begins to dream of a different time, a different place. She feels an inexplicable pull towards this mysterious female, and a past revealing itself through clues is scattered in her path. As family secrets come to light, she unearths the ties between her mother, grandfather, the wife of the king, a fearsome warrior, and the brass head's pivotal connection to them all.
Haunting and compelling, Butterfly Fish is a richly told story of love and hope; of family secrets, power, political upheaval, loss and coming undone.
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