The day a stained brown envelope arrives from Taduno’s homeland, he knows that the time has come to return from exile. Back in Nigeria, Taduno discovers that his community no longer recognizes him, his girlfriend Lela has disappeared, taken away by government agents, and all traces of his old life have been erased. All that is left of him are his own memories. As Taduno begins to unravel the mystery of his lost life he must also face a difficult decision: betray his love, or betray his nation.
‘Burning with magic and loss, exile and return, beauty and heartache’
– Marlon James, author of A Brief History of Seven Killings
‘Atogun presents us with a dreamlike vision of Nigeria chained to its past…moulding the brutal reality into a powerful, lingering fable' – Financial Times
‘Uniting a retelling of the Orpheus myth, an indictment of totalitarian inhumanity, and a Kafkaesque meditation on identity within the spare language of fable, Atogun’s memorable debut novel testifies to the power of both oppression and art’ —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
‘Atogun is not without Kafka's often humane and comic touches. Like Orwell, Atogun excels in plain language, in reducing situations to their bare essentials. Yet the author resists reducing his characters to mere political symbols. They are compelling as people in their own right.’ —Bookpage
‘I urge people to read this unforgettable new voice, writing in polished, gleaming prose’
– Anita Sethi, Observer
‘Odafe Atogun has plunged into the depths of the sea of Nigeria’s history and returned with a leviathan, and invited us to see – and be amused, troubled, scared, and even angry. And we cannot help but look.'
– Chigozie Obioma, author of The Fishermen
‘A heartfelt and imaginative story told with sincerity and compassion’
– Petina Gappah, author of An Elegy for Easterly
‘An absolute gem’ – Simon Sylvester, author of The Visitors