Award-winning Nigerian author and professor Chika Unigwe has a new book on its way. Titled Leaving Meshach, the book is her seventh novel and her first in over six years, following 2014’s Black Messiah.
Speaking to Nigeria’s daily The Punch, Unigwe revealed that the new novel will be published by Dzanc Books in the United States in the fall of 2022.
The novel is described as “a loose adaptation of the myth of Hades and Persephone.” Set in Enugu and partly in Atlanta, GA in the 2000s, it tells the story of Nani, “a vulnerable teenager who is lured in by a much older man, Meshach, a self-proclaimed Man of God,” and how she finds the courage to take charge of her own life several years later.
It is our safe guess that Unigwe had been working on the novel a while as far back in 2016, she published an excerpt from the novel as a short story on The Asterix Journal.
A Bonderman Professor of Creative Writing at Brown University, Unigwe is the author of several celebrated works of fiction including On Black Sister’s Street, which won the NLNG Prize for Literature worth $100,000, Black Messiah (2014), a fictional rendition of the Nigerian memoirist Olaudah Equiano’s life, and most recently the story collection Better Never than Late (2019).
Read an excerpt from Leaving Meshach here.