Nigerian novelist Sefi Atta has a forthcoming novel. The novel is titled The Bad Immigrant and will be published by Interlink Books on September 8.
The Bad Immigrant centers on the struggle of a Liberian literature professor named Lukmon to find a sense of belonging for himself and his family in America. Though told from his perspective, the story explores Lukmon’s wife Bashira and children’s experiences “as they learn how to live—and who to be—in America.”
The 248-page novel is Atta’s 5th novel. Atta is an exceptional storyteller who won the hearts of African book lovers with her debut novel, Everything Good Will Come. From what critics are staying, The Bad Immigrant doesn’t disappoint. Chika Unigwe loves the novel for its “clever, compassionate and swift-paced exploration of identity, race, and belonging” and calls it “a brilliant, brilliant book.”
Congrats to Atta! Read the publisher’s note below and preorder here.
What makes a “bad” immigrant? Is it someone who resists assimilation, someone who rejects the idea of conforming to their new home country, choosing instead to hold fast to their own culture and traditions? Or is it someone who abandons their roots, forgets their past, and sheds any trace of the place they used to call home once they’ve settled in a new land, in a new life? This is one of the central questions at the heart of acclaimed author Sefi Atta’s new novel, The Bad Immigrant, a “fun, thought-provoking, and refreshing culture-clash tale featuring a loving family adapting to a strange, new land” (Booklist).
Writing at the height of her powers, The Bad Immigrant cements Sefi Atta’s place as one of the best storytellers of our time. Through the voice of her first male protagonist, Lukmon, Atta peels away nuanced layers to expose the realities of migration and roles race, class, and identity play in the experience.
Featuring a colorful cast of characters that include eccentric neighbors, quirky coworkers, and the unique and unforgettable family at the center of it all, The Bad Immigrant paints an intimate portrait of the people who appear in its pages and manages to engender sympathy for all of them, even those we find infuriating.