Jumoke Verissimo’s debut novel “A Small Silence,” published by Cassava Republic Press, will be available from July 2, 2019.
Jumoke Verissimo writes poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction. The Nigerian has published two collections of poetry in I am memory which 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. Her second collection The Birth of Illusion was shortlisted for the Association of Nigerian Authors Poetry Prize and longlisted for the NLNG Nigeria Prize for Literature in 2017.
Verissimo has decided to try her hand at the prose game with her new novel A Small Silence. The new book is blurbed thus;
Imprisoned for ten years for his rage against society, activist and retired academic Prof resolves to live a life of darkness after his release from prison. He holes up in his apartment, pushing away friends and family, and embraces 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 orphan and final year student, who has grown up idolising Prof, following a fateful encounter in her hometown of Maroko as a child. Tentatively, the two begin to form a bond, as she returns every night at 9pm to see him. However, the darkness of the room becomes a steady torment, that threatens to drive Desire away for good.
A Small Silence is an intimate and evocative debut that charges us to look again at the alienating effects of trauma and the power of solitude and darkness to ignite the imagination.
If her prose is anything like her poetry then we are all in for a treat. Check out the newly minted writer talk about the motivations for her book below.