Nigerian COVID-19 Anthology titled Covik One Nine just released on April 24 through Lagos-based publisher Paperworth Books. Edited by Ibiso Graham-Douglas, the fiction anthology covers a range of stories and poems about the COVID-19 experience in Nigeria.

Covik One Nine is a collection of captivating narratives encapsulating the resilience, despair, and redemption woven into the fabric of the COVID-tinged Nigerian and diasporic experience. The name of the collection comes from a speech made by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in March 2020, remarking, “We are working with the Ministry of Health on protecting our citizens from Covik One Nine virus. As a government, this is now a key priority for us.”

The book takes you on a journey through the intricacies of life in the COVID era with a rich tapestry of short stories and poems. The editor Ibiso Graham-Douglas remarked that the book is a significant addition to Nigerian literature:

I wanted to capture our collective perceptions and experiences of the COVID era, defining it for our people and a generation—how it disrupted lives, and yet how resilience prevailed.

In the anthology, eight esteemed and emerging storytellers spin narratives that traverse the landscapes of Nigeria and its diaspora, offering profound insights into the essence of our shared humanity. The book contains poems from laureate Obari Gomba and short stories from acclaimed novelists Michael Afenfia, Chimeka Garricks and Olukorede S. Yishau, while also introducing new voices like Dolapo Marinho, Shehu Zock-Sock and Michael W. Ndiomu.

Read the full synopsis below:

Witness the unravelling of a man’s secret at his funeral and the tale of a migrant grappling with despair amidst lockdown in the USA. In Pidgin English, an eavesdropper at a funeral reflects on COVID’s impact on his marriage as a young woman confronts the aftermath of a botched plastic surgery. Experience a lawyer’s efforts as he struggles to free his wrongfully imprisoned client, alongside the inner turmoil of a psychiatrist battling her own mental health issues. Immerse yourself in the journey of an abandoned wife as she forges a new reality, complemented by poems that echo the diverse emotions woven into personal and collective struggles.

The editor of the collection, Ibiso Graham-Douglas, is a seasoned publisher and book industry professional with over two decades of expertise. As the founder of Paperworth Books, Graham-Douglas’ impact is evident across the literary landscape, with a portfolio of titles across various genres.

Buy Covik One Nine here.