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Award-winning novelist and poet Chris Abani is editing a 224-page anthology called Lagos Noir. Set to published by Akashic Books in June 2018 as part of their Akashic Noir Series which focuses on specific cities or neighbourhoods within cities, Lagos Noir features new fiction by Nnedi Okorafor, E.C. Osondu, Jude Dibia, Chika Unigwe, A. Igoni Barrett, and Sarah Ladipo Manyika. Also contributing are Adebola Rayo, Onyinye Ihezukwu, Uche Okonkwo, Wale Lawal, ‘Pemi Aguda, and Leye Adenle.

Akashic Books has released snippets from featured stories:

From “What They Did that Night” by contributor Jude Dibia:

Everything from then on seemed to happen fast, just like life in Lagos—the real Lagos, not the make-believe utopia of these island estates, where rich people’s children rode fancy bicycles, played basketball, and had nannies and gatemen. Complete darkness came swiftly. Lagos nights could be unforgiving.

From “Just Ignore and Try to Endure” by contributor A. Igoni Barrett:

For anyone can see that Lagos is a city of rats—they far outnumber the twenty million human inhabitants. They live in our homes, feed better than we do on our waste, and adapt more quickly to the poisons and anthropogenic microbes wiping us off the earth. Even today no map of Lagos would be complete without a rat’s-eye view of the garbage landfills and trash-choked canals, the mechanic workshops bursting with metallic skeletons dusted in rust, the polluted subsoil devoid of plant root networks, the crumbling foundations of concrete constructions, the underground labyrinth of household septic tanks leaking sludge into the groundwater. The rotting underbelly of the city we built for the rats.

Chris Abani.

Professor of English at Northwestern University, Chris Abani is the author of the novels: Masters of the Board (1985), GraceLand (2004),  Becoming Abigail (2006), The Virgin of Flames (2007), Song For Night (2007), and The Secret History of Las Vegas (2014); and of the poetry collections: Kalakuta Republic (2001), Daphne’s Lot (2003),  Dog Woman (2004), Hands Washing Water (2006), Feed Me The Sun – Collected Long Poems (2010), There Are No Names for Red (2010), and Sanctificum (2010). He is the recipient of the PEN USA Freedom-to-Write Award, the Prince Claus Award, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, a California Book Award, a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, a PEN Beyond the Margins Award, the PEN Hemingway Book Prize, and a Guggenheim Award. He is the co-editor, with Kwame Dawes, of New-Generation African Poets: A Chapbook Box Set (Tano). Last year, he was the star guest at the Lagos International Poetry Festival.

We can’t wait for this one.

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OTOSIRIEZE is a writer, literary journalist, former academic, and Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. A judge for the 2019 Gerald Kraak Award, he is an editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective which has published two volumes: WE ARE FLOWERS and THE INWARD GAZE. He is the curator of ART NAIJA SERIES, a sequence of themed e-anthologies of writing and visual art exploring different aspects of Nigerianness: ENTER NAIJA: THE BOOK OF PLACES (October, 2016) focuses on cities in Nigeria; WORK NAIJA: THE BOOK OF VOCATIONS (June, 2017) focuses on professions in Nigeria. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition, and has been shortlisted for the Miles Morland Writing Scholarship and the Gerald Kraak Award, both in 2016, and a Pushcart Prize in 2015. He attended the 2018 Miles Morland Foundation Creative Writing Workshop. He has completed a collection of short stories, YOU SING OF A LONGING, and is working on a novel. He is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He combined history and literature at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. When bored, the boy just Googles Rihanna. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts editing and writing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze.

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