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TJ Benson.

The Nigerian writer TJ Benson has a new novel set to be published by Masobe Books in 2020. A new publishing house, authors on Masobe Books’ list include Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani, Chimeka Garricks, and Michael Afenfia. Titled The Madhouse, Benson’s novel “chronicles the lives of an unorthodox couple: a young woman, her husband and two children, and an abandoned house which becomes both a place of refuge and a place of torment for them.”

The announcement was made by the publishers on twitter:

Here is a formal description:

The Madhouse chronicles the lives of an unorthodox family: a young woman who buys an abandoned house to run away from a man of God and her family in the eighties; the degenerate inhabitant who survived being sacrificed as a child, ran away from a Catholic seminary and ran away from the Nigerian Army; and that of their sons whom they name after their favourite publisher and their favourite bottle of wine—the elder who protects the younger from the homicidal dreams they share and grows to become a sensitive anti-drug officer and the younger brother who is haunted by his many talents, the love of many women, inherited memories of his father as an abomination child, the perceived success of his elder brother and the phantom of the twin brother he ate in the womb. The novel spans the military regimes of Nigeria in the eighties to the present.

Benson’s futuristic short story collection We Won’t Fade into Darkness was published by Parresia Books in 2018. One of the stories in the collection, “Tea,” was first runner-up for the 2016 Short Story Day Africa Prize and a finalist for the 2017 Brittle Paper Award for Fiction. A photographer, he has twice been a fellow at the Ebedi Residency.

Best wishes to TJ Benson!

Find out more about The Madhouse HERE.

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Chukwuebuka Ibeh is a Staff Writer at Brittle Paper. An alumnus of the Purple Hibiscus Trust Creative Writing Workshop, his work has been published in McSweeneys, Clarion Review, Charles River Journal and elsewhere. He was longlisted for the Awele Creative Trust Award in 2017 and was a finalist for the 2019 Gerald Kraak Award. In 2019, he was named by Electric Literature as 'One of the Most Promising New Voices of Nigerian Fiction' in a feature introduced by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. He is a regular contributor with the New England Review of Books and lives in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

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