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Black Sunday: A Novel


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About the Author

Tola Rotimi Abraham is a writer from Lagos, Nigeria. She lives in Iowa City and is currently pursuing a graduate degree in journalism. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she has taught writing at the University of Iowa. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Catapult, The Des Moines Register, The Nigerian Literary Magazine, and other places.


Black Sunday is a 2020 Kirkus Prize finalist

"I am left reeling and in awe." -Sarah Jessica Parker

"Tola Rotimi Abraham's Black Sunday will destroy you. It won't be an explosion or any other ultraviolent thing. Instead, the novel will inflict a thousand tiny cuts on you, and your soul will slowly pour from them . . . Abraham creates believable characters whose stories could easily have come from real life [that] makes them simultaneously unique and universal, and it makes it easy to understand the way they see the world, even if their lens is ugly . . . Black Sunday is a literary wound that bleeds pain for a while, but you should stay the course, because that's followed by lots of love, beauty, and hope." -Gabino Iglesias, NPR

"A searing debut novel about Nigerian twin sisters whose childhood bond is shattered by the political and social strife that impoverishes their family . . . Abraham explores deeply felt themes of violence, kinship, and self-reliance." -Adrienne Westenfeld, Esquire

"Arresting . . . Abraham writes with a fluid yet deliberate moral compass . . . gripping . . . Exploring themes that delve into the power of storytelling, the fragility of identity, the nature of regret, and the power of redemption, Abraham writes with a grace and sophistication that belie this novel's debut status. Hers is a voice and a vision to be recognized and watched." -Carol Haggas, Another Chicago Magazine

"Set in Lagos over a period of decades, this absorbing debut follows twin sisters Bibike and Ariyike from the inseparable bonds of relative comfort to the challenges and independence of poverty." -Karla Strand, Ms.

"This may be her first book, but Tola Abraham's storytelling power is immediately apparent-lush, sharp, and shot through with hope!" -Well-Read Black Girl

"An elegant and exciting debut, exquisitely beautiful and painful in equal measure . . . Filled with poetic, vibrant prose and rooted in Nigerian culture, Abraham allows us a glimpse at four lives as they diverge from a single traumatic moment. It's devastating, in its quiet way, but it's also funny and sweet and occasionally quite profound." -Jodie Sloan, The AU Review

"Abraham's fierce debut follows four Nigerian siblings living in Lagos from childhood in 1996 through early adulthood in 2015 . . . The novel's strength lies in its lush, unflinching scenes, as when a seemingly simple infection leads gradually but inexorably to a life-threatening condition, revealing the dynamics of the family and community along the way. Abraham mightily captures a sense of the stresses of daily life in a family, city, and culture that always seems on the edge of self-destruction." -Publishers Weekly

"[A] piercing, supple debut . . . Abraham stuffs her novel past brimming, but its sophisticated structure and propulsive narration allow her to tuck in a biting critique of corrupt colonial religion and universally exploitative men . . . Twin sisters cut adrift in a perilous, duplicitous world learn that 'only the wise survive.' A formidable debut." -Kirkus Reviews(starred review)

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