Friday, November 02, 2007

Cassava Republic

This is a fairly new publishing company in Nigeria owned by good friends Jeremy and his wife. They publish both new writers and reproduce works of existing Nigerian writers in the diaspora. I love the fact that in quite a (not so) small but significant way, they are helping to revive the formally vibrant publishing industry in Nigeria. The books are made locally available and a lot of book clubs and literary social circles are springing up all over the place in Nigeria, from Lagos to Jos and perhaps beyond. As a result, there's a refreshing reading culture taking place and Nigerians at home and abroad are loving the fact that they are able to read great books from indigenous writers that tackle issues of personal interest and relevance.
So check out their latest newsletter below; and also check out their website. Oh, and did I mention how much I love the name, "Cassava Republic"?

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Dear reader
Welcome to our November newsletter. As the Damina season slowly turns into Harmattan, what better way to avoid the dusty Sahara wind than to stay at home with a good book. This coming month, we're publishing an array of wonderful titles that we are sure you'll enjoy, or buy as Christmas presents.
As well as the new books, prize-winning author Helon Habila tours the following cities in November: 17th Lagos - NuMetro Silverbird Galleria; 21st Abuja NuMetro - Ceddi Plaza; 21st Keffi - Nasawara State University; 22nd, Jos - University of Jos, 23rd Gombe Gombe State University. We'll shortly be sending you more details about the tour.
Happy reading!
Bibi Bakare-Yusuf
New Fiction

Measuring Time by Helon Habila
Measuring Time is the new novel by Helon Habila, a leading figure amongst the new generation of Post-Abacha Nigerian writers. This is an epic novel charting the turbulent recent history of Nigeria through the eyes of a single family. Twin brothers, Mamo and LaMamo grow up in a small Northern village, with a philandering and domineering father. With high hopes, they flee, but only LaMamo escapes. He joins a rebel group near the Chad border and meets Charles Taylor. Mamo, the sickly twin, gradually comes out of his father’s shadow and gains fame as a chronicler of his people.
Measuring Time has a cast of memorable characters: the devout Christian Aunt Mariana, the lustful widows, a blind witch and her dog, a drunken cousin, two unmarried daughters of a white American missionary, and Zara, Mamo’s bold and thoughtful lover. Read more

Waiting for an Angel by Helon Habila
Through seven interconnected narratives, Habila provides a strikingly cinematic and hallucinatory account of the difficulties of life under the Abacha dictatorship in Nigeria. The central character, Lomba, a young journalist, languishes in prison as his world has slowly crumbled. While the guards sleep, he begins to write. His story spirals backwards in time, telling the tale of the residents of Poverty Street, Lagos. We hear of resistance leader Joshua, in love with a former pupil turned prostitute, of Nancy, who finds solace covering walls with graffiti, and of Janice, forced to marry a General. Read more
Visit Helon Habila’s website

Every Day is for the Thief by Teju Cole
Every Day is for the Thief is a striking account of Nigeria in change. Through a series of portraits of everyday life in Lagos, Cole provides a fresh and captivating account of a young man revisiting the city of his childhood.
TV presenter Funmi Iyanda has this to say: “Not since Frank McCourt’s Angela's Ashes have I read stories that make you want to laugh and cry simultaneously written in simple, powerful discerningly honest prose. I read everyday without pausing for breath and emerged satiated that someone has written a book that accurately reflects the tragedy and triumphs of Lagos, a mean task if you know how complex this city is.” Read more
A Tale of Two Covers
We’ve just reprinted two of our books.
Even though the demand for them was high, due to printing errors, we had to pull the books out of the market. Now we’ve redesigned the covers – see below (don’t they look irresistible!) For the 3,000 of you with pre-paid orders, you’ll be getting your copies in the post shortly.

Kemi’s Journal – Abidemi Sanusi
Kemi’s Journal is a sassy first novel about a twenty-something high-flying born-again Christian advertising executive who must reconcile her faith with a demanding career, pleasing family, trying to get over her non-believing, but adorable ex-boyfriend Zack. Although her faith is sometimes strong and can resist temptations and other times God takes a back seat as the arms of Zack appears more alluring. This is a bold, page-turning novel that tackles the moral decisions many people have to make about crisis of faith, sex before marriage, unplanned pregnancy and career with openness and maturity. Read more

Zack’s Story – Abidemi Sanusi
Zack’s Story, is the sequel to Kemi’s Journal. Here, we get to hear Zack’s side of the story: he didn’t plan to be a father, but now that baby Yanis is on the scene, he is determined to take parenting seriously whilst dealing with some of the dark shadows of his past. As for being a husband, he’s wanted that for a long time – but the volatile Kemi he loves so much doesn’t make it easy. And neither does the office temptress, Maxine. Then there’s a career to be built as a big shot corporate lawyer. Read more
Visit Abidemi Sanusi’s website

26a by Diana Evans
Diana Evans’ lyrical, enchanting first novel tells the coming-of-age story of Bessi and Georgia, identical twins growing up in Neasden and Nigeria, and the story of their mixed race family. Read more
We hope that there's something that appeals to you on our currrent list. For information about where to find our books, please email us at
November is a busy month in the Nigerian Literary calendar. Why not check out the following events:
The 2nd Northern Zonal Book Fair, 29th October - 2nd November, Abuja at the National Centre for Women's Development, Opposite Central Bank of Nigeria, Tafawa Balewa Way, Abuja. 9 - 5pm daily. This event is organised by the Nigerian Book Foundation. It will be attended by those involved in the book industry in the whole of the Northern region. There will be a series of talks, seminars, book signing and book exhibitions. For further information, call: 0803 379 4389.
The Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) 26th International Convention, Owerri from 1st – 4th November, 2007. Contact Denja Abdullahi: 0805 786 8575
The Annual Lagos Book and Art Festival and the 3rd Lagos Comics and Cartoons Carnival.Date: November 9-11, 2007Venue: National Theatre, Iganmu, LagosClick here for more details.
Helon Habila Tours the following cities in November: Lagos 17th at NuMetro Silverbird Galleria; Abuja 21st NuMetro at Ceddi Plaza; 21st Nasawara State University in Lafia; 22nd, University of Jos, 23rd Gombe State University.
For further information:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love the name Cassava Republic. Its so refreshing. I am wishing them all the best. welcome back.