December 4, 2023

The novel, the publishers revealed, is scheduled to be released on the 16th of May, 2023.

By Editor 

Nigerian writer, Ukamaka Olisakwe’s YA novel, Don’t Answer When They Call Your Name, has been announced for release in 2023 by Masobe Books, Lagos, Nigeria. 

The publishers announced its acquisition of Olisakwe’s work on their website, giving away that the novel, “is set in a fantasy multiverse rooted in Igbo mythology—imagine The Hunger Games set in Ben Okri’s The Famished Road. This is a story about an aja who decides that it is time to wrest power from a merciless deity.”

They also revealed on their official Twitter page two days ago that the sophomore work will be released on May 16th, 2023.

The synopsis goes thus:

“When the streams suddenly run dry in Ani Mmadu, the people know it is time to atone for a sin that goes back to the very beginning of their world; the consequence of one woman’s rebellion against the all-powerful and unforgiving, jealous god. To avert this catastrophe and for the waters to flow and nourish the farms again, the people must send an Aja—a child chosen by the Oracle—into the Forest of Iniquity, to atone for that great Sin. It falls on young Adanne to save her people this time. But the Ajas sent into the dreaded forest tend never to return. Is Adanne the long-awaited one who will buck the trend and end her people’s suffering?”

Ukamaka Olisakwe, Masobe books, Nigerian writer, African writer, Afrocritik, Don't answer when they call your name
Don’t Answer when they call your Name

“Don’t Answer When They Call Your Name is an extraordinary novel bursting with kaleidoscopic worlds and beings. It is a feat of the imagination from a natural storyteller.”

Ukamaka Olisakwe, a UNESCO-World Book Capital “Africa 39” honouree and a University of Iowa’s International Writing Program Fellow,  was born in Kano, Nigeria, and now lives in Vermillion, SD.

She is a winner of the 2018 Vermont College of Fine Arts (VCFA) Emerging Writer Scholarship; the SpriNg Women Authors Prize in 2021 ; a finalist for the Miles Morland Scholarship and the Brittle Paper Award for Creative Nonfiction, and runner-up for the Gerald Kraak Prize, among other honours. She is the founder of Isele Magazine and The Body Conversation.


Ukamaka Olisakwe, Masobe books, Nigerian writer, African writer, Afrocritik, Don't answer when they call your name
Ukamaka Olisakwe

 Ukamaka Olisakwe’s books includes ; Eyes of a Goddess (2012) and Ogadinma (2020).

Eyes of a Goddess (2012) a story of hardship, abuse, and the resilient spirit of those desperate to breathe the air of freedom. It tells the story of, Njideka who at fifteen is caught in the deep political turmoil beleaguering Nigeria, when the government arrests and tortures her father following a peaceful protest.

Ogadinma (2020) is  a tale of departure, loss and adaptation; of mothers whose experience at the hands of controlling men leave them with burdens they find too much to bear. After an unwanted pregnancy leaves her exiled from her family in Kano, thwarting her plans to go to university, seventeen-year-old Ogadinma is sent to her aunt’s in Lagos. When a whirlwind romance with an older man descends into indignity, she is forced to channel her strength and resourcefulness to escape a fate that appears all but inevitable.

 Ukamaka Olisakwe is the Founder and Editor in Chief of Isele Magazine and The Body Conversation.

(Read also: Obinna Udenwe’s amazing new short story collection to be published in 2023) 

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