Here Again Now
Available now. (Published March 2022)
‘A beautiful exploration of grief and family. Through exquisite prose, Okechukwu Nzelu delves into the lives of the complicated men at the centre of this story with compassion and tenderness. A lyrical and insightful novel.’ Brit Bennett, author of The Vanishing Half
‘A tender and probing book… Baldwin-esque and honest, pulsing with love. I honestly believe Nzelu is the future of Black British writing.’ Derek Owusu, author of That Reminds Me
From award-winning author Okechukwu Nzelu comes a spellbinding literary novel that asks, how do you move forward when the past keeps pulling you back?
Achike Okoro feels like his life is coming together at last. His top-floor flat in Peckham is as close to home as he can imagine and after years of hard work, he’s about to get his break as an actor. He’s even persuaded his father, Chibuike, to move in with him, grateful to offer the man who raised him as a single parent a home of his own.
Between filming trips, Achike is snatching a few days in London with Ekene, his best friend of twenty years, the person who makes him feel whole. Achike can put the terrible things that happened behind him at last; everything is going to be alright. Maybe even better.
But after a magical night, when Achike and Ekene come within a hair’s breadth of admitting their feelings for each other, a devastating event rips all three men apart. In the aftermath, it is Ekene and Chibuike who must try to rebuild. And although they have never truly understood each other, grief may bring them both the peace and happiness they’ve been searching for…
A heartbreaking and immensely uplifting novel about lovers, fathers and sons. If you love The Vanishing Half, Shuggie Bain or Moonlight then you’ll adore this this incredibly moving book that shows the power of family – both the one into which we are born and those we choose for ourselves.
What readers are saying about Here Again Now:
'A riveting and heartbreaking tale of male friendship, missed opportunity and the bond between fathers and sons, this is a gloriously moving book which will surely collect every award going.' Harper's Bazaar, Best Books of 2022 So Far
‘A deeply intimate novel. Nzelu’s incisive style probes beneath his characters’ layers to expose vulnerability, joy, and love… Here Again Now is a revelation.’ Courttia Newland
‘Okechukwu Nzelu is truly coming into his power as a novelist. It’s a beautiful and memorable book. Watch him soar.’ Niven Govinden
‘A book so beautiful, it makes your heart ache on every page. Utterly brilliant, I loved it.’ Julie Owen Moylan
‘One to watch next year.’ Stylist
‘A powerful and heartbreaking novel; Okechukwu Nzelu is a vital voice.’ Andrew McMillan
‘Nzelu confirms his place as one of the most exciting and versatile writers of his generation.’ Angela Chadwick
‘A transgenerational story of grief as tender, potent and nimble as love.’ Kit Fan
'An affecting portrayal of love and grief. Devastating yet tender, heartbreaking yet hopeful.' Deepa Anappara
'Tender and touching. Perfectly captures the brevity of life and happiness, and how a missed opportunity doesn't have to be the end of everything - but should be grabbed anyway, just in case.' Justin Myers
‘I loved these heartbreaking characters, their flaws were never glossed over in Nzelu’s work, and their humanity shines out all the brighter for that. I cannot recommend this novel enough.’ Paterson Joseph
‘A compelling, enchanting novel of love, grief, and healing. Written in sumptuous prose, and with formal flair, it is heartbreaking, redeeming, and utterly mesmerising.’ Seán Hewitt
'Hooked me from the very beginning... I loved the precision and lyricism of the sentences... A lightness of touch.' Jenn Ashworth
October 3, 2019
'Nzelu writes with a witty confidence rarely seen in debut fiction. Smart, serious and entertaining, I expect this book to have wide appeal and for the writer to go far.'
Bernardine Evaristo, author of Booker-shortlisted novel, Girl, Woman, Other
'A magnificent novel, full of wit, warmth and tenderness'
'I haven't been able to put it down... Okechukwu Nzelu has effortlessly captured the tricky nuance of life, love, race, sexuality and familial relationships'
Candice Carty-Williams, author of Queenie
‘[a] tender, funny debut…Nzelu writes with compelling honesty, but he’s also gifted with a warm sense of humour.'
‘a vivid picture of people seeking security and identity in the maze of modern-day England. This is fiction as sculpture: skilfully paring down a scene to reveal the shape of the pain hidden within. Jonathan’s search for validation, and Nnenna’s drive to create an identity for herself, are moving and relatable stories, intimately told’
'Okechukwu writes with confidence, wit and humour. Unforgettable characters and a voice that stays with you even after the final page. Edifying and hilarious, The Private of Joys of Nnenna Maloney is a beautiful debut that you won't want to put down.'
Derek Owusu, writer, poet and podcaster
How do you begin to find yourself when you only know half of who you are?
As Nnenna Maloney approaches adulthood she longs to connect with her Igbo-Nigerian culture. Her close and tender relationship with her mother, Joanie, becomes strained as Nnenna begins to ask probing questions about her father, whom Joanie refuses to discuss.
Nnenna is asking big questions about how to 'be' when she doesn't know the whole of who she is. Meanwhile, Joanie wonders how to love when she has never truly been loved. Their lives are filled with a cast of characters asking similar questions about identity and belonging whilst grappling with the often hilarious encounters of everyday Manchester.
The Private Joys of Nnenna Maloney is a funny and tender tribute to community, faith and forgiveness; to growing up and growing into ourselves.
Okechukwu Nzelu brings us a funny and heart-warming story that covers the expanse of race, gender, class, family and redemption, with a fresh and distinctive new voice. Perfect for fans of Queenie by Candice-Carty Williams and Zadie Smith's White Teeth.
Safe: On Black British Men Reclaiming Space, ed. Derek Owusu (Trapeze)
March 7, 2019
'This is not a book you read, but a book you witness. Derek Owusu has brought together important voices in British culture, authors you can actually feel digging deep into their experiences and sharing things that have not been written before. It's brave and honest, and not a moment too soon.'
'This is power stuff my people. There is no holding back here. These might be essays by black British men, but they are relevant to all of us in the diaspora. Hold this book close to you and stay Safe.'
An anthology of powerful essays reflecting on the Black British male experience, collated and edited by Mostly Lit podcast host Derek Owusu.
What is the experience of Black men in Britain? With continued conversation around British identity, racism and diversity, there is no better time to explore this question and give Black British men a platform to answer it. SAFE: On Black British Men Reclaiming Space is that platform. Including essays from top poets, writers, musicians, actors and journalists, this timely and accessible book brings together a selection of powerful reflections exploring the Black British male experience and what it really means to reclaim and hold space in the landscape of our society.
Where do Black men belong in school, in the media, in their own families, in the conversation about mental health, in the LGBT community, in grime music - and how can these voices inspire, educate and add to the dialogue of diversity already taking place? Following on from discussions raised by The Good Immigrant and Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race, this collection takes readers on a rich and varied path to confront and question the position of Black men in Britain today, and shines a light on the way forward.
Contributors include poet Suli Breaks, award-winning author Alex Wheatle, Channel 4 news reporter Symeon Brown, Guardian journalist Joseph Harker and many more.