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Nigerian novelist Elnathan John’s forthcoming book is the satirical commentary you want to read ahead of Nigeria’s February 16 elections. Portraying “the different Nigerians you are likely to meet at home and abroad, on your way to heaven or to hell,” Be(com)ing Nigerian: A Guide “moves between the sublime and the ridiculous, and deftly captures both the hilarity and the horror of Nigeria,” offering a sharply observed, nuanced, laugh-out-loud understanding of a country of 190 million people, from its “religious hypocrisy to the pragramatic nature of ‘Nigerian love.'” The book will be published by Cassava Republic, in Nigeria on 6 February 2019 and in Europe on 11 July.

In an email to Brittle Paper, Cassava Republic publicity assistant Kofo Okunola described the book as “a searing and darkly entertaining look at how power operates in private and in public; in politics, business, religious institutions and in homes,” one that is “a summons, a provocation and a call for introspection among all levels of society.”

Among the book’s cast are the Mechanic, the Religious Leader, the Wannabe Writer, the Professional Kidnapper, the Journalist, and the Lover. It further offers ways through which one can be Nigerianized, “from how to attain the much-maligned but heady rank of politician to achieving the status of the silver-tongued, private jet-flying religious leader, or the mechanic who would only work with a certain type of woman for the sake of his own professional survival.”

Be(com)ing Nigerian: A Guide is Elnathan John’s second book. His debut, the novel Born on a Tuesday, won a Betty Trask Award. He is currently one of the judges for the 2019 Man Booker International Prize.

Pre-order the book on Cassava Republic’s website

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About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young is Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. He is a judge for the 2018/19 Gerald Kraak Prize and the 2019 Miles Morland Writing Scholarships. He is an editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is the curator of the Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He attended the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where he got an M.A. in African Studies and a combined honours B.A. in History & International Studies and English & Literary Studies. He taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

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