Chigozie Obioma

The Fishermen

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SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2015 MAN BOOKER PRIZE
In this dazzling debut novel, four young brothers in a small Nigerian town encounter a madman, whose prophecy of violence threatens the core of their family
Told from the point of view of nine-year-old Benjamin, the youngest of four brothers, The Fishermen is the Cain and Abel-esque story of an unforgettable childhood in 1990s Nigeria. When their father has to travel to a distant city for work, the brothers take advantage of his extended absence to skip school and go fishing. At the forbidden nearby river they encounter a madman, who predicts that one of the brothers will kill another. What happens next is an almost mythic event whose impact – both tragic and redemptive – will transcend the lives and imaginations of both its characters and its readers. Chigozie Obioma emerges as one of the best new voices of modern African literature, echoing its older generation's masterful storytelling with a contemporary fearlessness and purpose.
'Obioma's beautiful, quasi-biblical allegory-like debut… is set to be one of the novels of the year' Eileen Battersby, Irish Times
'A startling debut… auspicious… leaps off the pages' Mariella Frostrup, Open Book
'A striking, controlled and masterfully taut debut… The tale has a timeless quality that renders it almost allegorical and it is the more powerful for it' FT
'It's like being in a Zola or Theodore Dreiser novel… The Fishermen is an elegy to lost promise… and yet it remains hopeful about the redemptive possibilities of a new generation' Guardian
'Awesome in the true sense of the word… a truly magnificent debut' Eleanor Catton, author of The Luminaries
'Suffused with an air of legend and the supernatural… The Fishermen establishes Obioma as a writer to be taken seriously… ingenious, subtle, ambitious and intriguing' TLS
'Terrific' Irish Examiner
'Full of deceptive simplicity, lyrical language and playful Igbo mythology and humour… an impressive and beautifully imagined work' Economist'A novel with an intimate canvas but also an undercurrent of something larger, more primal' We Love This Book
'A debut that is packed with power and tragedy' Shortlist
'Chigozie Obioma truly is the heir to Chinua Achebe' The New York Times
'Mr Obioma's long-limbed and elegant writing is shot through with strikingly elevated phrasings… its lessons may be slippery, but its power is unmistakable' Wall Street Journal
'The most frustrating thing about The Fishermen is that the author has no other books for the reader to devour once the final page is reached' Chicago Tribune
'Searing, incandescent' Harvard Crimson
'Succeeds as a convincing modern narrative and as a majestic reimagining of timeless folklore' Publisher's Weekly, Starred review
'A powerful, haunting tale of grief, healing, and sibling loyalty' Kirkus
'Darkly mythic… a kind of African Cormac McCarthy' USA Today
'[A] confident début novel… frank and lyrical' New Yorker
This book is currently unavailable
346 printed pages
Original publication
2015
Publishers
Pushkin Press, One

Impressions

    Tosin Akinniranyeshared an impression5 years ago

    Great read. Loved it

    b9053475258shared an impression5 years ago
    👍Worth reading

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Quotes

    Animpuye Apuyehas quoted2 years ago
    after our father moved out of Akure, a town in the west of Nigeria, where we had lived together all our lives. His employer, the Central Bank of Nigeria, had transferred him to a branch of the bank in Yola—a town in the north that was a camel distance of more than one thousand kilomet
    b4991292564has quoted2 years ago
    Because there was a perennially erratic power supply in Akure in
    b4991292564has quoted2 years ago
    him to let it go, but he refused. Then, one morning, he lifted the bird’s lifeless body in his hand and dug a hole in the backyard; his heart was broken. He and Boja covered the sparrow with sand until the bird was buried under the earth. This was exactly how Ikenna vanished, too. First, the earth poured by the mourners and the undertakers covered his white-shrouded trunk, then his legs, arms, face and everything, until he was obliterated forever from our eyes

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