Nigeria’s newest imprint Cassava Shorts is set to issue titles by Chika Unigwe, Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, and Toni Kan.
There’s a new imprint in Nigerian called Cassava Shorts from Cassava Republic Press. It has announced a new short story series that will bring to the light gripping stories by celebrated and emerging authors. Cassava Shorts showcases the power of the short story to give readers a concentrated shot of high-quality writing, whilst exploring in microcosm timely and important themes.
“With this new series, we want to celebrate the short story’s potential to reactivate a love of good old-fashioned storytelling in pithy form. At a time when so much is competing for our attention, short stories are a quick way to get immense in a world and still feeling satiated. Some of my most explosive and evocative reads have been the short story form. So, I am very excited to introduce this series by some of the best-known and emerging writers from across the African world,” said Bibi Bakare-Yusuf, Cassava Republic Publishing Director.
Here are the books being issues and their dates of publication.
Better Never Thank Late by Chika Unigwe – September 9, 2019.
Chika Unigwe is a Nigerian writer and author of four novels. She earned a PhD from the University of Leiden, The Netherlands, for her dissertation entitled “In the Shadow of Ala: Igbo Women Writing as an Act of Righting”. Chika has received a number of awards for her writing, including the 2012 NLNG Prize for Literature, for her novel On Black Sisters’ Street.
Cassava Shorts will be issuing Chika Unigwe’s new short story collection Better Never Than Late on September 9. The blurb of the new book goes thus;
“Better Never Than Late” charts the unconventional lives and love affairs of a group of Nigerian migrants, making their way in Belgium. The collection is centred around Prosperous and her husband Agu, and the various visitors who gather at their apartment each week. These interconnected stories explore their struggles and triumphs, from unhappy marriages (of convenience or otherwise), to the pain of homesickness, and the tragic paradox in longing to leave Nigeria so that you may one day return to it.
Nights of the Creaking Bed by Toni Kan – April 30, 2019.
Toni Kan is the author of four critically acclaimed works of fiction and poetry, including The Carnivorous City (Cassava Republic, 2016). Kan was the winner of the NDDC/Ken Saro Wiwa Literature Prize (2009), awarded by the Association of Nigerian Authors.
First issued in 2008, Nights of the Creaking Bed will be reissued on April 30 and will feature new stories. The book blurb states thus;
“Nights of the Creaking Bed” is an unflinching look at life and lust in Lagos. This collection is filled with memorable characters in affecting dramas: a young man who can’t get the image of his naked, beautiful mother out of his mind; a middle-aged housewife who finds love again but has an impossible decision to make; a child so poor he has to hawk onions on Christmas day. The stories document the inescapable violence of life in Lagos as well as the power of human connection and the importance of joy.
The Whispering Trees by Abubakar Adam Ibrahim – April 30, 2019.
Abubakar Adam Ibrahim is a Nigerian writer and journalist whose debut novel, Season of Crimson Blossoms won the NLNG Nigeria Prize for Literature 2016. His collection of short stories The Whispering Trees was long-listed for the Etisalat Prize for Literature in 2014, with the title story shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing. Abubakar has won the BBC African Performance Prize. He is a Gabriel Garcia Marquez Fellow (2013) and a Civitella Ranieri Fellow (2015).
The blurb for The Whispering Trees to be reissued on April 30 collection goes thus;
The magical tales in “The Whispering Trees” capture the essence of life, death, and coincidence in Northern Nigeria. Myth and reality intertwine in stories featuring cat-eyed English witches, political agitators, newly-wedded widows, and the tormented whirlwind, Kyakkyawa. The two medicine men of Mazade battle against their egos, an epidemic, and an enigmatic witch. And who is Okhiwo, whose arrival is heralded by a pair of little white butterflies?