Among many other reasons that 2021 can’t come soon enough is the publication of Chibundu Onuzo’s third novel.
The title of the novel is Sankofa. She announced this in a post on Instagram, also sharing the synopsis of the book:
In middle age, after separating from her husband and losing her mother, Anna finds her father’s student diaries, chronicling his involvement in radical politics in 1970s London. She discovers that he eventually became the president – some would say the dictator – of the West African country of Bamana. And he is still alive. Anna decides to track him down and her journey will lead her to a new understanding of both her past and her potential future, as well as an exploration of race, identity and what we pass on to our children.
Fans may recall from her appearance on Brittle Paper’s #WeTurnToBooks Instagram Live series that Chibundu Onuzo recently graduated with a PhD in history from King’s College London.
In this article by The Bookseller, Onuzo explains how her research at King’s College inspired the very questions that shaped the main character of her third novel:
I spent four years at King’s College London, researching the West African men (and it was mostly men) who came to Britain for university from 1925 to the 1970s. Many of them joined a group called the West African Students’ Union. Some were radical, some were political and a notable number returned home to join independence struggles on the African continent. I wondered what would happen if one of these men left a child behind. How old would she be? How would her life have been shaped by the presence of a white mother and the absence of her black father? And thus the novel Sankofa was born.
Sankofa is set for publication in June 2021 by Virago Books of the U.K., Catapult of the U.S., and Narrative Landscape Press of Nigeria.
Chibundu Onuzo is the author of two novels: The Spider King’s Daughter (2012), which won a Betty Trask Award and was shortlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize as well as the Commonwealth Prize; and Welcome to Lagos (2016), which was an Official Belletrist Book Pick and an American Booksellers Association Indie Next Pick.
Her short film, Dolapo is Fine, is one of five finalists for the 2020 American Black Film Festival’s Annual HBO Short Film Competition.
Congratulations to Chibundu Onuzo!