abubakar - crimsonAbubakar Adam Ibrahim’s debut novel, Season of Crimson Blossoms, comes out November 10. Two publishing powerhouses—Parresia and Cassava Republic—are coming together to publish the novel in Nigeria and the UK, respectively.

Set in a conservative Hausa society, Season of Crimson Blossoms tells the story of a 55 year old widow who has an illicit affair with a street gang leader half her age.

We haven’t read the novel, but we hear from very, very reliable quarters that the novel is a spectacular read. First of all, it was edited by the African editing Czar, Ellah Allfrey. Second, renowned South African novelist Zoe Wicomb is going to bat for the novel, calling it “a powerful and compelling debut!”

Third, Season of Crimson Blossoms is a story about life in Northern Nigeria. That in itself is remarkable. Why? In the robust history of Nigerian literature written in English, so much has been written about places like Lagos, not so much about the northern parts of Nigeria. Kudos to Parresia and Cassava Republic for promoting diversity in the Nigerian literary scene.

We’ve been on Ibrahim’s trail ever since he was shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing. He has since gone on to do lots of wonderful things like being longlisted for the Etisalat Prize and spending time in Italy as a Civitella Ranieri Fellow earlier this year.

Ibrahim says the novel explores “love, desire, heartbreak, hope, the human condition and our collective humanity.” But—truth be told—we are more interested in that part of the novel that explores a steaming love affair between an older woman and a young rebel warrior. At Brittle Paper, we love it when African writers go all boundary-pushing with their exploration of sexuality. We also love how the title Season of Crimson Blossoms nods to the African classic, Seasons of Migration to the North.

We recommend you pre-order a copy at HERE. For those who shop at  jumia.com and konga.com, Season of Crimson Blossoms will be available for purchase on November 10.

Enjoy this bit of steamy excerpt we acquired exclusively for you guys:


Two nights later, when he was tossing and turning on the bed next to her, she knew he would nudge her with his knee and she would have to throw her legs open. He would lift her wrapper, spit into her crotch and mount her. His calloused fingers would dig into the mounds on her chest and he would bite his lower lip to prevent any moan escaping. She would count slowly under her breath, her eyes closed, of course. And somewhere between sixty and seventy – always between sixty and seventy – he would grunt, empty himself and roll off her until he was ready to go again. Zubairu was a practical man and fancied their intimacy as an exercise in conjugal frugality. It was something to be dispensed with promptly, without silly ceremonies.

She wanted it to be different. She had always wanted it to be different. And so when he nudged her that night, instead of rolling on to her back and throwing her legs apart, she rolled into him and reached for his groin. He instinctively moaned when she caressed his hardness and they both feared their first son, lying on a mattress across the room, would stir.

‘What the hell are you doing?’ The words, half-barked, half-whispered, struck her like a blow. He pinned her down and, without further rituals, lifted her wrapper. She turned her face to the wall and started counting. The tears slipped down the side of her closed eyes before she got to twenty.


Tags: , , , , , ,

I'm finishing up a phd at Duke University where I study African novels, which I believe are some of the loveliest things ever written. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

3 Responses to “Exclusive Extract from Abubakar Adam Ibrahim’s Season of Crimson Blossoms” Subscribe

  1. Hidayatu musa 2016/04/29 at 5:27 am #

    I have always admired writers who are not ashamed to write their thoughts, i have not been priviledged to read this book, but ill make sure ill do so real soon.
    – Hidayat


  1. Exclusive Extract from Abubakar Adam Ibrahim’s Season of Crimson Blossoms | - 2015/11/16

    […] Originally published on Brittlepaper.com […]

  2. Season of Crimson Blossoms and the Writing of Sex Scenes - theMagunga Bookstore - 2016/02/14

    […] found it interesting that the excerpt in Brittle Paper chosen to announce the release of Abubakar Adam Ibrahim’s debut was a sex scene, a provocative […]

Leave a Reply

I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


A Book About Soups, Sex and Nigerian Taste Buds


Congrats to Yemisi Aribisala! Her essay collection on Nigerian food and culinary culture is set for an October 31 release. […]

Chimamanda Adichie Had a Christian Dior Moment


Head of Dior Maria Grazia Chiuri made a bold statement at her catwalk show in the beautiful gardens of the […]

Opportunity for African Writers | Enter to Win the 2017 Commonwealth Short Story Prize


The 2017 Commonwealth Short Story Prize is now open for entries! If you are a member of any of the […]

Nnedi Okorafor’s Chicken in the Kitchen Wins Children’s Africana Book Award


On October 8th, Nnedi Okorafor attended a ceremony at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington, DC  where […]

Adichie Has Some Thoughts About Michelle Obama as a Figure of Black Femininity


As Michelle Obama concludes her 8-year run as first lady, The New York Times Style Magazine assembles a group of […]

Welcome to London | by Lucky Edobor | An African Story


05:40 am. The immigration man’s backside is too flat, even for a skinny white man. It is hard to not […]