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Soyinka, Nwonwu, Bologna prize light up horizon for Narrative Landscape Press

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  • March 15, 2024
  • 3 min read
Soyinka, Nwonwu, Bologna prize light up horizon for Narrative Landscape Press

By Editor

ON March 8, Narrative Landscape Press (NLP) announced the release of the trade paperback edition of Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth by Professor Wole Soyinka, saying in a statement that “the edition is published in collaboration with Bookcraft Africa. The first Black winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature gives us a tour de force,” combining “elements of a murder mystery, a searing political satire and an Alice in Wonderland-like modern allegory of power and deceit,” according to Los Angeles Times, adding that the trade paperback edition is now available for purchase in Nigeria.

In an imaginary Nigeria, a cunning entrepreneur is selling body parts stolen from Dr. Menka’s hospital for use in ritualistic practices. Dr. Menka shares the grisly news with his oldest college friend, Duyole Pitan-Payne. The life of every party, Duyole is about to assume a prestigious post at the United Nations in New York, but it now seems that someone is deter¬mined that he does not make it there. And neither Dr. Menka nor Duyole knows why, or how close the enemy is, or how powerful. This is the story of Chronicles from the Land of the Happiest People on Earth.

Also, the independent publishing house is excited at a new publication it is about to dish out to the reading public. “We are counting down to the release of How to Make a Space Masquerade and Other Speculative Stories!,” it recently announced in a statement, adding, “This short story collection by Mazi Nwonwu artfully blends speculative fiction with Igbo cosmology, seamlessly merging the earthly realm with a dystopian world. The twelve stories stretch the imagination and demand a review of our notions of self-discovery, human connection and traditions.”

The author of The Hairdresser of Harare, Tundai Huchu describes the collection as “A masterful collection showcasing the very best aspects of Africafuturism. Nwonwu has crafted thought-provoking pieces which demand reflection from the reader. Excellent!”

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Journalist and writer, Mazi Nwonwu

And to cap March’s successes for NLP, it got nominated for a publishing prize. “It’s a new week and it’s starting with good news for us,” the outfit said in a statement, noting, “Narrative Landscape Press has been nominated for the 2024 Bologna Prize Best Children’s Publishers of the Year (Africa)! The BOP – Bologna Prize for the Best Children’s Publishers of the Year is awarded annually to highlight excellent publishing houses from all over the world. Narrative Landscape Press is thrilled to be shortlisted this year.”

Also, NLP got one its titles So the path Does Not Die by Pede Hollist, about female genital circumcision, into the WAEC reading book list. The book’s blurb reads, “Long after Fina has left Sierra Leone for America, memories of a broken initiation still haunt her. She longs to return, to find her grandmother and right the path that has been set for young girls centuries past. Her journey from the streets of Freetown to Washington echoes with the tensions, ambiguities, and fragmentation of the diaspora. Fina’s inner turmoil and feelings of ‘otherness’ persist as she travels further from home. Ultimately, the broken path of her childhood brings Fina back to Sierra Leone, to a life she had never imagined for herself. So the Path Does Not Die is a tender and gently observed novel exploring attitudes towards female circumcision from an exciting voice in African literature. The novel is on WAEC’s list of recommended African prose for 2026-2030.”

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