Chukwuebuka Ibeh


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Expected release date is 11th Jun 2024

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A stunning debut novel charting the coming-of-age of a young gay man in 2010s Nigeria, from a young rising star in literary fiction

When Obiefuna's father witnesses an intimate moment between his teenage son and the family's apprentice, newly arrived from the nearby village, he banishes Obiefuna to a Christian boarding school. Surrounded by unknown faces that soon become friends, lovers and enemies, Obiefuna finds and hides who he truly is, while his mother Uzoamaka grapples to hold onto her favourite son, her truest friend. When he leaves school as a young man, Nigeria criminalizes same-sex relationships - and Obiefuna's life, or the life he wants to live, becomes even harder to envision - out of reach in a way that is more dangerous and tangible than before.

Told from the alternating perspectives of Obiefuna and his mother Uzoamaka, as they reach towards a future that will hold them both, BLESSINGS is an elegant and exquisitely moving story of love and loneliness. Asking how we can live freely when politics reaches into our hearts and lives, as well as deep into our consciousness, it is a stunning, searing debut.

Author: Chukwuebuka Ibeh

Hardback  Published 11 June 2024  256 pages

A moving debut about love and loneliness SUNDAY TIMES

As engaging as doorstoppers can be, there is an unparalleled pleasure in something short and searing. Chukwuebuka Ibeh’s debut is set in modern-day Nigeria, where the country’s criminalisation of same-sex marriage has created a hostile atmosphere for the LGBTQ+ population. After an intimate moment with the family apprentice, Obiefuna is sent to a Christian boarding school by his father. So begins a process of self-discovery. Blessings is told from Obiefuna and his mother’s perspective, a dynamic which has plenty of potential for the profound. ESQUIRE, THE BIGGEST BOOKS LANDING ON YOUR READING LIST IN 2024

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