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The Private Joys of Nnenna Maloney (Dialogue Books/Little, Brown)

October 3, 2019

SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2020 DESMOND ELLIOTT PRIZE

WINNER OF A 2020 BETTY TRASK AWARD

SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2020 BETTY TRASK PRIZE

SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2020 POLARI FIRST BOOK PRIZE

'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'

Andrew McMillan

'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.'

Daily Mail

‘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’

Guardian

'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.

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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.'

Afua Hirsch

'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.'

Benjamin Zephaniah

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.

©2019 by Okechukwu Nzelu. Proudly created with Wix.com