Welcome to Lagos by Chibundu Onuzo

Welcome to Lagos by Chibundu Onuzo

Welcome to Lagos by Chibundu Onuzo – Deep in the Niger Delta, officer Chike Ameobi deserts the army and sets out on the road to Lagos. He is soon joined by a wayward private, a naive militant, a vulnerable young woman and a runaway middle-class wife. The shared goals of this unlikely group: freedom and new life.

As they strive to find their places in the city, they become embroiled in a political scandal. Ahmed Bakare, editor of the failing Nigerian Journal, is determined to report the truth. Yet government minister Chief Sandayo will do anything to maintain his position. Trapped between the two, they are forced to make a life-changing decision.

Full of shimmering detail, Welcome to Lagos is a stunning portrayal of an extraordinary city, and of seven lives that intersect in a breathless story of courage and survival.

Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Welcome to LagosAn Official Belletrist Book Pick
Named a Best Book of the Year by Women.com
An American Booksellers Association Indie Next Pick
Booklist Editors’ Choice
Selected to Best of Summer Reading Lists by ParadeElleNYLONPopSugarThe Millions, PureWow, Women.com, Hearst MediaBitch Media, and Read It Forward
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“Storylines and twists abound. But action is secondary to atmosphere: Onuzo excels at evoking a stratified city, where society weddings feature ‘ice sculptures as cold as the unmarried belles’ and thugs write tidy receipts for kickbacks extorted from homeless travelers.” ―The New Yorker

Welcome to Lagos, the American debut of Chibundu Onuzo . . . offers an earnest . . . portrait of Nigeria’s sprawling metropolis . . . [The book’s] dialogue rings true. Conversations between Onuzo’s characters move fluidly between Igbo, Yoruba, pidgin and English, demonstrating her skilled ear.” ―The New York Times Book Review

“Delightful.” ―Gary Younge, The Guardian

“Lives as varied as they are storied find themselves together in Lagos. . . . It is a true testament to Onuzo’s natural storytelling skills that she orchestrates, with humor, panache and multilingualism, the meeting of all these characters.” ―Star Tribune

“Onuzo’s lively, well-plotted novel summons up the great city of Lagos with all its complexity.” ―Houston Chronicle

“An adventure to somewhere I’ve never been.” ―Jake Tapper, The Washington Post

“Chike Ameobi may be an army officer in Nigeria but he doesn’t take orders from just anyone. When he’s commanded to take innocent lives, he sets off to Lagos where he gets involved in the midst a new scandal with a new group of misfits, all destined to make a change.” ―Parade

“Heralds the young writer’s great talent, her ability to weave together multiple story lines into one vibrant tapestry, and her gift at inhabiting myriad perspectives while maintaining the singularity of each individual voice.” ―NYLON

“Get to know Lagos in this irresistible masterpiece by Chibundu Onuzo. Searching, or rather, escaping to a better life is the motivation behind the protagonist, Chike’s, arrival to Lagos. But that doesn’t mean that he can escape the political scandals around him.” ―Hearst Media

“Onuzo spins a vivid and wild tale of crisscrossing lives and destinies in a city filled with injustice and opportunity, complexity and corruption.” ―Shondaland

“A funny, insightful celebration of contemporary Nigeria that masterfully answers Adichie’s call to rid the world of ‘single stories.’” ―Chicago Review of Books

“Onuzo does a brilliant job . . . This is a novel full of heart, humanity, grief.” ―The Brooklyn Rail

“Get to know Lagos in this irresistible masterpiece by Chibundu Onuzo. Searching, or rather, escaping to a better life is the motivation behind the protagonist, Chike’s, arrival to Lagos. But that doesn’t mean that he can escape the political scandals around him.” ―WMTW, ABC television affiliate (Portland, ME)

“Lagos as a framing device illustrates the shifting, often tenuous connections between the public and private lives of Nigeria’s citizenry, and the specificity of Onuzo’s details fully embodies each character.” ―Foreword Reviews

Welcome to Lagos is a deftly painted, intricate portrait of a city that isn’t often explored in literature, and Chibundu Onuzo takes readers on a journey to the heart of it, filling each character-driven page with some of the most fascinating scenes we’ve read in a long, long time.” ―PopSugar

“Reminiscent of the work of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Chinua Achebe, Onuzo’s latest follows a Nigerian army officer who deserts his post and flees to Lagos with a band of ragtag runaways.” ―PureWow

“In the streets of the diverse, madcap, magical, and intense city of Lagos, Nigeria, a ragtag group of folks fleeing from different circumstances find a home together, squatting in a politician’s abandoned apartment. The characters are dynamic and fascinating. . . . A remarkable and fresh book.” ―Read It Forward

“A novel that manages to be both savvy and heartfelt, a hopeful testament to human connection and unlikely redemption.” ―The Riveter

“A high-spirited novel about aspirations and escape, innocence and corruption.” ―Queens Gazette

“A tangy Ocean’s Eleven–esque escapade that exposes class and ethnic divides in the country even as it manages to mock the West for its colonial gaze toward the African continent as a whole. Full of nuance, the story spares no one as it careens toward its satisfying finale.” ―Booklist (starred review)

“In her winning U.S. debut, Onuzo anatomizes a tumultuous city and its inhabitants, from street hustlers to well-connected government ministers. . . . Onuzo’s briskly plotted novel is a rewarding exploration of the limits of idealism and transparency against widespread cynicism and corruption.” ―Publishers Weekly

“Onuzo colorfully and adeptly stitches many patches of dialect, religion, class, and gender to portray life in Lagos. Purchase where curricula include an emphasis on contemporary world literature or where Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart is studied.” ―School Library Journal

“Onuzo’s novel is at once a Robin Hood tale and a cross section of Nigerian society. . . . She avoids grand defining statements about Lagos, smartly letting the predicaments of each character show how the city’s lawlessness runs parallel to its bustle. . . . The novel is marked by lively storytelling throughout. A well-turned tribute to the freedom and frustrations of a diverse city.” ―Kirkus Reviews

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About the Author

Chibundu Onuzo was born in 1991 in Lagos, Nigeria. She studied history at King’s College London and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in history at the same institution. Her short stories have been commissioned by BBC Radio, and she writes for The Guardian, with a special interest in Nigeria.

Originally published: 2017

AuthorChibundu Onuzo

Genres: Psychological Fiction, Political fiction, Road Fiction

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