The book, set to be published in July 2023, is Somtochukwu’s debut novel.
By Hope Ibiale
The Nigerian publishing company, Cassava Republic, has acquired the West African rights to Ani Kayode Somtochukwu’s soon-to-be-released fiction book, And Then he Sang a Lullaby. The book, set to be published in July 2023, is Somtochukwu’s debut novel.
And Then He sang a Lullaby is a refreshing and timely exploration of two young lovers trying to navigate their desire through visibility, invisibility, fear, and courage in a society awash with bigotry and over-zealous religiosity. It is a story of two gay men who find each other and try to navigate their relationship in a country determined to eradicate them.
The publishing director of Cassava Republic, Bibi Bakare-Yusuf, said, “We are delighted to have acquired this marvel of a debut by a promising new writer. And Then He Sang a Lullaby is full of energy and life, and explosive and vibrant. The descriptions of the violence and sexual intimacy are raw, visceral, courageous, and all too human. This brazenness is exactly what we need to see more of in literature, and it is what makes this novel throb with joy, tenderness, and possibility.”
On getting his book published by Cassava Republic, Ani Kayode Somtochukwu stated, “I am so excited that Cassava Republic will publish And Then he Sang a Lullaby in West Africa. It was important to me from the get-go to have a Nigerian publisher make sure this novel was accessible as possible to the community whose story it tells. Cassava Republic’s enthusiasm and passion for this book is absolutely electrifying. I can rest easy knowing that And Then He Sang a Lullaby has found a home it would be treated with the tenderness and political sensitivity it needs.”
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Ani Kayode Somtochukwu is an award-winning Nigerian writer and queer liberation activist. His work interrogates themes of queer identity, resistance, and liberation. His writings have appeared in literary magazines across Africa, Europe, Asia, and North America. In 2021, he won the James Currey Prize for African Literature with his manuscript, And Then He Sang a Lullaby.