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Jacaranda Books is a fast-growing publishing house based in London. We are very happy about the attention they’re giving to African fiction.

Just last year, they published Obinna Udenwe‘s Satans and Shaitans, a conspiracy crime thriller set in Nigeria.

And now they are out with Irenosen Okojie’s Butterfly Fish. The novel chronicles the experience of a London-based photographer, “who, inspired by an ancient Nigerian brass artefact she inherits after her mother’s sudden death, sets out to trace her family history, taking the reader on a journey from the 19th century Kingdom of Benin, through to 1950s Nigeria and 1970s London, and revealing deeply hidden family secrets along the way.” 

A few weeks ago, Jacaranda Books, in collaboration with West End Lane Books, organized a launch party for Okojie’s debut novel.

Okojie, who read from Butterfly Fish during the event, looked gorgeous in a print dress and tan heels.

The lawyer-turned-novelist “gave a heart-warming speech in which she thanked her many supporters, including her agent Elise Dilsworth, formerly commissioning editor at Virago Books, Alex Wheatle MBE who described her as ‘one of the most original and innovative writers to emerge in many a year’, and her mentor Donna Daley-Clarke, winner of the 2006 Commonwealth Prize.”

Margaret Busby, the co-founder of Allison & Busby, attended the event. Other high-profile attendees include “Yvvette Edwards, Joy Francis, founder of Words of Colour, and fellow Jacaranda author and WHSmith bestseller Frances Mensah Williams (From Pasta to Pigfoot).”

Congrats to Okojie and Jacaranda Books!

See photos from the event below.

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[L-R] Valerie Brandes, Editor and Founder of Jacaranda Books and Irenosen Okojie

Irenosen Okojie with the team from West End Lane Books

Irenosen Okojie with the team from West End Lane Books

Irenosen Okojie signs a copy of Butterfly Fish for award-winning novelist Yvette Edwards

Irenosen Okojie signs a copy of Butterfly Fish for award-winning novelist Yvette Edwards

[L-R] Award winning novelist Yvette Edwards, Irenosen Okojie, Joy Francis, founder of Words of  Colour

Yvette Edwards, Irenosen Okojie, and Joy Francis, founder of Words of Colour

Irenosen Okojie with Margaret Busby (London's first black woman publisher and co-founder of Alison & Busby publishers)

Irenosen Okojie with Margaret Busby (London’s first black woman publisher and co-founder of Alison & Busby publishers)

Valerie Brandes, founder of Jacaranda Books, gives a speech and congratulates Irenosen Okojie

Valerie Brandes, founder of Jacaranda Books, gives a speech and congratulates Irenosen Okojie

Guests talking about Butterfly Fish - Irenosen Okojie signed copies on the night

Guests talking about Butterfly Fish – Irenosen Okojie signed copies on the night

butterfly fish front cover

 

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.

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