February 2012 E-Newsletter

Cassava Republic - Feeding the African Imagination


February Newsletter

Tiny Sunbirds Far Away Book cover

We are excited to be publishing our first novel set largely in the Niger Delta.

'Everything changed after Mama found Father lying on top of another woman.’

Blessing and her brother Ezikiel adore their larger-than-life father, their glamorous mother and their comfortable life in Lagos. But all that changes when their father leaves them for another woman.

Their mother is fired from her job at the Royal Imperial Hotel - only married women can work there - and soon they have to quit their air-conditioned apartment to go and live with their grandparents in a compound in the Niger Delta. Adapting to life with a poor countryside family is a shock beyond measure after their privileged upbringing in Lagos.

Told in Blessing's own beguiling voice, Tiny Sunbirds Far Away shows how some families can survive almost anything. At times hilarious, always poignant, occasionally tragic, it is peopled with characters you will never forget.

Tiny Sunbirds Far Away is out this month.


New Genre Fiction from Cassava Republic

When we started Cassava Republic Press, we wanted to push the boundaries of African writing, challenging expectations as well as being known for always publishing books that are absorbing to read. We are therefore excited to announce two new acquisitions: Nairobi Heat, a literary crime thriller by Mukoma Wa Ngugi and the Young Adult fantasy novel What Sunny Saw in the Flames, by the award-winning author, Nnedi Okorafor. Both books feature action-packed narrative, rich characterisation and the opportunity to parachute the reader into different worlds.

In Mukoma’s mystery, Ishmael, an African-American detective, is on a murder case: a young woman is found dead on the doorstep of a Rwandan professor in Madison, USA. Following an anonymous tip-off, Ishmael finds himself chasing shadows in the Nairobi underworld, partnering with local detective "O" and falling in love with the sultry singer Muddy. Ishmael soon finds out there is more to the professor - who saved thousands during the genocide in Rwanda - than meets the eye. Nairobi Heat is a riveting page-turner, and the first book in the new Cassava Crime series. © photography David Mariampolsk

In contrast to the gritty reality of Nairobi Heat, Okorafor’s What Sunny Saw in the Flames transports the reader to a magical place where nothing is quite as it seems. Born in New York, but living in Aba, Nigeria, thirteen-year-old Sunny is a little lost. She is albino and can also see into the future. But then she discovers she is part of a special group of people with unique abilities in an exciting realm of strange creatures and dark secrets. In this world, your worst defect is actually your greatest asset. But there’s a dark side. Someone is kidnapping children and maiming or killing them and Sunny, Orlu, Chichi, and their American friend Sasha have been asked to help track down the criminal.

We are thrilled to name these authors as new Cassava Republicans and can’t wait to share their stories with you later in the year. © photography Anyaugo Okorafor

CRP @Cinnamon Bazaar


If you are in Lagos this month, stop by our roaming stall at Cinnamon Café’s first seasonal bazaar. You can pick up copies of our books and get access to bargain goods and services from over 20 independent vendors just in time for Valentine.

The event will be a festival of food, music, fashion, art and technology to be held on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th February 2012 from 10am to 6pm at 94 Adetokunbo Ademola Street, opposite Ocean View, Victoria Island, Lagos.


A Call for African Sci-fi

The first African Science Fiction anthology, AfroSF is now open to submissions from all African writers across the continent and the Diaspora. Though writers must be of African heritage, stories can be set anywhere - as far as the imagination can stretch. The collection will be edited by Zimbabwean author Ivor Hartmann and published by StoryTime (Publishing) in 2012. Deadline for submissions is May 31st 2012. For more information, visit the anthology's submission page at: afrosf.submishmash.com/submit.

FEMRITE Residency open for submissions

The Uganda Women Writers Association (FEMRITE) has begun calls for submissions for their 4th Regional Women Writers Residence to be held for two weeks in November 2012. The programme is open to African women living on the continent.

The residency aims to encourage intercultural discourse among African women writers, to inspire African women to write together, to give women space and time to write. Participants will also have their stories published in the latest FEMRITE anthology.

Deadline for submissions is 30th April 2012. Fifteen writers will be chosen. Successful applicants will be notified by 30th August 2012. For more information, visit the website at: www.femriteug.org.


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