An Orchestra of Minorities
By Chigozie Obioma
The second novel by the author of The Fishermen (shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize)
'Chigozie Obioma is a writer to watch' The Economist
Umuahia, Nigeria. Chinonso, a young poultry farmer, sees a woman attempting to jump to her death from a highway bridge. Horrified by her recklessness, Chinonso joins her on the roadside and hurls two of his most prized chickens into the water below to demonstrate the severity of the fall. The woman, Ndali, is moved by his sacrifice.
Bonded by this strange night on the bridge, Chinonso and Ndali fall in love. But Ndali is from a wealthy family, and when they officially object to the union because he is uneducated, Chinonso sells most of his possessions to attend a small college in Cyprus. Once in Cyprus, he discovers that all is not what it seems. Furious at a world which continues to relegate him to the sidelines, Chinonso gets further and further away from his dream, from Ndali and the place he called home.
In this contemporary twist of Homer's Odyssey, in the mythic style of the Igbo literary tradition, Chigozie Obioma weaves a heart-wrenching epic about the tension between destiny and determination.
'Chigozie Obioma truly is the heir to Chinua Achebe' New York Time Book Review
Chigozie Obioma was born in 1986 in Akure, Nigeria, and currently lives in the United States. He is an assistant professor of Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His debut novel, The Fishermen, is winner of the inaugural FT/Oppenheimer Award for Fiction, the NAACP Image Awards for Debut Literary Work, and the Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction (Los Angeles Times Book Prizes); and was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize 2015, as well as for several other prizes in the US and UK. Obioma was named one of Foreign Policy's 100 Leading Global Thinkers of 2015.
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- Publication date:
03 Jan 2019
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Chigozie Obioma is a gifted and original storyteller. His masterful new novel An Orchestra of Minorities is remarkable for its exploration of universal concepts to do with destiny, free will and luck — Jennifer Clement, National Book Award-longlisted author of Gun Love, President of PEN International
An ambitious and immersive tale about love and sacrifice, told by an ancient spirit. A bold new novel from an exciting young writer — Brit Bennett, author of The Mothers
Chigozie Obioma pens a deeply empathetic, complex and gut-wrenchingly human narrative that captures the heart and soul. An Orchestra of Minorities stays with you. With remarkable style and compelling language, he explores what it means to experience blinding love and devastating loss. A truly gifted writer, Obioma has proven yet again that he's a literary treasure — Nicole Dennis-Benn, award-winning author of Here Comes the Sun
An Orchestra of Minorities is a magisterial accomplishment by any measure, and particularly impressive for the way Obioma orchestrates a tableau in which humans and spirits must interact in a complex, emotionally rich-veined story. Few writers can match Obioma's astonishing range, his deft facility for weaving a mesmeric and triumphant fictive canvas in which - reminiscent of the ancient masters - a cohort of gods presides over and negotiates the fates of humans — Okey Ndibe, author of Foreign Gods, Inc.