VAGABONDS! is a tumultuous and unexpectedly joyous novel of oppression and defiance among the people and spirits of Lagos.
‘You don’t read this novel. You swan dive into it, then gasp in wonder’ Marlon James, author of A Brief History of Seven Killings
‘Electrifying. A fierce, compulsively engaging and striking debut’ Irenosen Okojie, author of Nudibranch
Lagos is a city for all . . . you share this place with flesh and not-flesh, and it’s just as much their city as it is yours.
Eko, the spirit of Lagos, and his loyal minion Tatafo weave trouble through the streets of Lagos and through the lives of the ‘vagabonds’ powering modern Nigeria: the queer, the displaced and the footloose.
With Tatafo as our guide we meet these people in the shadows. Among them are a driver for a debauched politician; a lesbian couple whose tender relationship sheds unexpected light on their experience with underground sex work; a mother who attends a secret spiritual gathering that shifts her reality. As their lives begin to intertwine-in markets and underground clubs, in churches and hotel rooms-the vagabonds are seized and challenged by the spirits who command the city. A force is drawing them all together, but for what purpose?
In her debut novel VAGABONDS! Eloghosa Osunde tackles the insidious nature of Nigerian capitalism, corruption and oppression, and offers a defiant, joyous and inventive tribute to all those for whom life itself is a form of resistance.
‘Every year promises the birth of the next literary superstar… and 2022 is no different. Coming with early acclaim from Marlon James, Eloghosa Osunde’s VAGABONDS! is an exceptional debut, taking on queerness, capitalism and the societal vagabonds of Lagos’ streets’ i-D
'You don't read this novel. You swan dive into its sea of gods and monsters, lost girls, violent boys, and well-behaved people both righteous and wicked. And when you finally surface, that sound will be you, gasping in wonder' Marlon James, author of A Brief History of Seven Killings 'Some of the most spectacular writing I've ever encountered in my life' Akwaeke Emezi, author of Freshwater 'I'm in awe of Osunde's writing... I can't wait for others to delve into the joyous, defiant world she has rendered for her debut novel, VAGABONDS!' Caleb Azumah Nelson, author of Open Water, in Entertainment Weekly 'Every year promises the birth of the next literary superstar... and 2022 is no different... Eloghosa Osunde's VAGABONDS! is an exceptional debut' i-D 'A feast of a book, a marvelous ode to spirits and outsiders that is irreverent (and painfully funny) while being serious enough to drill a hole in one's chest. There is nothing in the world like this book' Lesley Nneka Arimah, author of What It Means When A Man Falls From The Sky 'A novel as vivid and varied as the city itself' Harper's Bazaar 'Osunde's gasp-inducing novel takes us to the Lagos streets with an ensemble of misfits and vagabonds, each with their own stories of queerness, personal demons, all-consuming love... Immerse yourself in Osunde's kaleidoscopic world' AnOther Magazine 'An explosive portrait of Nigeria that will blow your mind - in prose that feels so alive it practically vibrates off the page. A masterpiece' Lidia Yuknavitch, author of The Book of Joan 'A dazzling, hypnotic portrait of lives lived on the margins' T Kira Madden, author of Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls
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