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Welcome to Lagos - A Novel - cover

Welcome to Lagos - A Novel

Chibundu Onuzo

Publisher: Catapult

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Summary

View Chibundu Onuzo's US tour promo video! http://bit.ly/WelcometoLagosVideo
The US debut publication of Chibundu Onuzu, a 26-year-old writer of immeasurable talent whose work has already received widespread critical praise internationally
 Onuzu will attend Winter Institute 2018 in Memphis, TN 
"A dazzling road trip from the Badlands of the Niger Delta to Nigeria's sprawling and chaotic megacity" (Readers Digest UK), Welcome to Lagos is whip-smart, often comical, and completely transporting read with a strong cast of central characters that reveals "the fault lines of the country's society—or indeed those of any [developing] democracy" (Economist) 
The large cast of nearly a dozen characters captures the city's hustle and bustle, with different voices pressing in to tell the story
For readers who loved Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Americanah,  Taiye Selasi's Ghana Must Go or Alain Mabanckou's Broken Glass
Author is a compelling media interview and a natural at events (at just 26 years old, she's also getting her PhD in history). She's also talented singer and often sings at launches —and came second in a national singing competition when she was 16 in the UK ; she is also a loud advocate for libraries and the opportunities they provide for their communities
Humor is a central—if sometimes surprising—element in the novel, and Onuzu has spoken often that humor is an essential tool when grappling with her hometown of Lagos; this will resonate with anyone who is from a developing nation or who has lived in one for a long period of time and felt a heartfelt ambivalence toward their hometown
Welcome to Lagos also explores Christian faith with generosity and honesty in a way we rarely see in literary fiction, but without sentimentality or generalizations

Praise from Booksellers
"Amazing that a story like this can come from someone the same age as me. Onuzo is an exciting new voice, and I can't wait for what else she has in store. Welcome to Lagos is as bustling and engaging as its characters are varied and unconventional. A very fun read!" —Lane Jacobsen, Flyleaf Books (Chapel Hill, NC)

"Chike abandons his corrupt army squad and heads to the bustling capital of Lagos seeking a new life with a ragtag group of outcasts and runaways. Onuzo's novel expertly portrays the complexities of modern Nigeria with an infectious, humorous spirit and great heart. Her keen eye for characters had me falling in love with Chike, Oma, Yemi, Isoken, and Fineboy, eager to see where this group of runaways would land." —Caleb Masters, Bookmarks (Winston-Salem, NC) 

"An in depth exploration and historical understanding of Nigerian politics and cultures made this book utterly impossible to put down-- and it was extra cool that the author was born in 1991! Army officer Chike is ordered to shoot civilians, or be shot. His decision brings together individuals with wildly intriguing stories, yet the hideousness and brutality of war is ever-present. Readers are constantly encouraged to examine, at what cost is war worth it?" —Jenna, Raven Book Store (Lawrence, KS) 

"This young author does a fabulous job of describing the plight of the political and the personal in Nigeria.  It began with five people fleeing to Lagos to escape death.  Each person has gifts that help them function as a whole and a "family" is formed. I could not put the book down and when I finished it, it haunted me." —J. Thompson, Maria's Bookshop (Durango, CO) 

"Keeping me company in a waiting room: Welcome to Lagos by Chibundu Onuzo. 
Out in May (sorry to make you wait), this debut novel is a tour de force. My heart was in my mouth reading the opening section — as Chike, a Nigerian army officer, deserts his post when unable to follow orders to shoot innocent villagers. The pressure doesn’t let up—so much is at stake for Chike, and the companions he finds, on his way to Lagos, their bustling, expansive, corrupt, strangely beautiful destination. The novel is bursting with extraordinary warmth and humor. It’s soooo good! Put it on your reading list immediately." —Mary Cotton, Newtonville Books (Newton, MA) 

"[Welcome to Lagos] dips its toes into many pools: it kicks off in a warzone, roams the bewildering tangle of Lagos and incorporates elements of crime fiction, cultural reportage and even buddy-film camaraderie. The author pulls it all off with deft humor and sharp observations, bringing one of the world's great conurbations into focus." —Ryan Murphy, Three Lives & Company (New York, NY)

"Chike abandons his corrupt army squad and heads to the bustling capital of Lagos seeking a new life with a ragtag group of outcasts and runaways. Onuzo's novel expertly portrays the complexities of modern Nigeria with an infectious, humorous spirit and great heart. Her keen eye for characters had me falling in love with Chike, Oma, Yemi, Isoken, and Fineboy, eager to see where this group of runaways would land." —Caleb Masters, Bookmarks (Winston-Salem, NC) 

"An in depth exploration and historical understanding of Nigerian politics and cultures made this book utterly impossible to put down-- and it was extra cool that the author was born in 1991! Army officer Chike is ordered to shoot civilians, or be shot. His decision brings together individuals with wildly intriguing stories, yet the hideousness and brutality of war is ever-present. Readers are constantly encouraged to examine, at what cost is war worth it?" —Jenna, Raven Book Store (Lawrence, KS) 

"This young author does a fabulous job of describing the plight of the political and the personal in Nigeria.  It began with five people fleeing to Lagos to escape death.  Each person has gifts that help them function as a whole and a "family" is formed. I could not put the book down and when I finished it, it haunted me." —J. Thompson, Maria's Bookshop (Durango, CO) 

"Keeping me company in a waiting room: Welcome to Lagos by Chibundu Onuzo. 
Out in May (sorry to make you wait), this debut novel is a tour de force. My heart was in my mouth reading the opening section — as Chike, a Nigerian army officer, deserts his post when unable to follow orders to shoot innocent villagers. The pressure doesn’t let up—so much is at stake for Chike, and the companions he finds, on his way to Lagos, their bustling, expansive, corrupt, strangely beautiful destination. The novel is bursting with extraordinary warmth and humor. It’s soooo good! Put it on your reading list immediately." —Mary Cotton, Newtonville Books (Newton, MA) 

"[Welcome to Lagos] dips its toes into many pools: it kicks off in a warzone, roams the bewildering tangle of Lagos and incorporates elements of crime fiction, cultural reportage and even buddy-film camaraderie. The author pulls it all off with deft humor and sharp observations, bringing one of the world's great conurbations into focus." —Ryan Murphy, Three Lives & Company (New York, NY)
"A novel as charismatic and bustling as the metropolis in which it's set. Places like Lagos are guide to our urban future, and Chibundu Onuzu is likewise a model writer of the coming age." —James Crossley, Island Books (Mercer Island, WA) 
"Wow! I am so grateful to finally see Chibundu Onuzo being published in the US—clearly we have been missing her voice for far too long! This novel is a fantastic look at various parts of Nigerian society, and with the compelling characters and intricate plotlines it kept me hooked from the beginning!" —Abby Fennewald, Bookpeople (Austin, TX) 

"Welcome to Lagos is a novel of the unexpected: set in contemporary Nigeria, it draws together a disparate cast of characters in a plot to take down government corruption. Led by Chike, a Nigerian soldier who goes AWOL after he refuses to kill civilians in the Niger Delta, the accidental group of political activists includes a wife running away from her abusive husband, a former militant resistance fighter, and a villager whose home has just gone up in flames. They make their way to Lagos and stumble upon the financial swindle of the century, enlisting the help of a liberal newspaper editor to expose those responsible and rehabilitate the country’s schools. Onuzo’s vivid characterizations and political commentary are tempered with a thought-provoking humor, taking you on a journey as vibrant and bustling as its busy Lagos streets." —Morgan McComb, Raven Book Store (Lawrence, KS)

"To paraphrase the late, great, fictional Omar Little, 'a man's got to have a code.' What is a person to do when their idea of who they are diverges too greatly from their actions? As an officer in the Nigerian army, Chike Ameobi is no stranger to violence, but he draws the line at killing civilians. When he decides to leave his post and head to Lagos, it's an attempt to reconcile his character and his ideals, to wrest back control of his own destiny. Along the way, he picks up a divergent cast of characters, people like him who are running toward something better, and together they embark on a complicated journey. Welcome to Lagos is a richly detailed snapshot of Nigeria, a portrait of a place that's as full of beauty and contradictions as the characters in this book." —Lauren Peugh, Powell's Books (Portland, OR)
"Welcome to Lagos sweeps you up in the intersection of these lives and the city that shapes them. Like the fictional Nigerian Journal commentaries that pepper the pages of her novel, Onuzo employs sharp-eyed observation and humor to create this novel of found-family and the impossibility of doing the right thing." —Ruby, Annie Bloom's Books (Portland, OR)

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