Blessings

A Novel

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Pub Date 04 Jun 2024 | Archive Date 11 Jun 2024

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Description

“Chukwuebuka Ibeh’s writing has a certain delicacy to it, so wonderfully observant, and so beautiful.”
—Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, author of Americanah

Moonlight meets Purple Hibiscus in this searing debut of self-acceptance, sexual awakening, and first love set in a Nigeria on the verge of criminalizing same-sex relationships


Obiefuna has always been the black sheep of his family—sensitive where his father, Anozie, is pragmatic, a dancer where his brother, Ekene, is a natural athlete. But when Obiefuna’s father witnesses an intimate moment between his teenage son and another boy, his deepest fears are confirmed, and Obiefuna is banished to boarding school.

As he navigates his new school’s strict hierarchy and unpredictable violence, Obiefuna both finds and hides who he truly is. Back home, his mother, Uzoamaka, must contend with the absence of her beloved son, her husband’s cryptic reasons for sending him away, and the hard truths that they’ve all been hiding from. As Nigeria teeters on the brink of criminalizing same-sex relationships, Obiefuna’s identity becomes more dangerous than ever before, and the life he wants drifts further out of reach.

Set in post-military Nigeria and culminating in the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act of 2013, Blessings is an elegant and exquisitely moving story that asks how to live freely in a country that forbids one’s truest self, and what it takes for love to flourish despite it all.
“Chukwuebuka Ibeh’s writing has a certain delicacy to it, so wonderfully observant, and so beautiful.”
—Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, author of Americanah

Moonlight meets Purple Hibiscus in this searing...

Advance Praise

“Chukwuebuka Ibeh’s writing has a certain delicacy to it, so wonderfully observant, and so beautiful.” —Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie, author of Americanah and Purple Hibiscus

Blessings is a stunning and exceptionally moving story of love, shame, redemption and fierce familial bonds. In sublime, evocative prose and from alternating points of view, Ibeh tells the story of Uzoamaka and Obiefuna as mother and son come to transformative realizations about themselves and each other. Ibeh has an elegant and passionate way with language, from the depictions of the Nigerian cultural landscape and its tense reckonings with queerness to the gorgeous mundanities of the protagonists’ home lives and the various dynamics of religion, class, and schoolboyhood. I’m grateful that this beautiful book exists, and I will return to it again and again as if for the first time.” —Francesca Ekwuyasi, author of Butter Honey Pig Bread

Blessings is as raw and heart-wrenching as it is beautiful and delicate. A masterfully executed story about love, faith and sexuality that clenches your heart and doesn’t let go until the very last page. Ibeh is a once in a lifetime talent!” —Elvin James Mensah, author of Small Joys

“A wonderful, vivid debut.” —Patrick Gale, author of A Place Called Winter

“A tender, yet powerful story, poetic and wise. Ibeh draws such beautiful characters, and through their eyes, teaches us that love cannot be beaten or threatened from the human heart. From the first chapter, this book won’t let you go.” —AJ West, author of The Spirit Engineer

“Wow—what a debut! I was left feeling heartbroken yet hopeful. Chukwuebuka Ibeh is a beautiful writer.” —Taylor-Dior Rumble, author of The Situationship

“Chukwuebuka Ibeh’s writing has a certain delicacy to it, so wonderfully observant, and so beautiful.” —Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie, author of Americanah and Purple Hibiscus

Blessings is a stunning and...


Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9780385550642
PRICE $28.00 (USD)
PAGES 288

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