Named a Most Anticipated Book by Vogue and Vulture "Alternately whimsical, sweet, and dark," this astonishing debut novel about a lonely girl waiting for her mother "brim[s] with uncompromisingly African magical realism" (The New York Times).
Ayosa is a wandering spirit--joyous, exuberant, filled to the brim with longing. Her only companions in her grandmother's crumbling house are as lonely as Ayosa herself: the ghostly Fatumas, whose eyes are the size of bay windows, who teach her to dance and wail at the death news; the Jolly-Annas, cruel birds who cover their solitude with spiteful laughter; the milkman, who never greets Ayosa and whose milk tastes of mud; and Sindano, the kind owner of a café no one ever visits. Unexpectedly, miraculously, one day Ayosa finds a friend. Yet she is always fixed on her beautiful mama, Nabumbo Promise: a mysterious and aloof photographer, she comes and goes as she pleases, with no apology or warning.
Set at the intersection of the spirit world and the human one, Things They Lost
sets out a rich and magical vision of "girlhood as a time of complexity, laced with unparalleled creativity and expansion" (Vogue
). Heartbreaking, elegant, and written in "giddily exuberant prose" (Financial Times
), it's a story about connection, coming-of-age, and the dizzying dualities of love at its most intoxicating and all-encompassing.Author:
Scribner Book CompanyPublished:
8.10h x 5.70w x 1.30dISBN:
9781982102579Review Citation(s): Library Journal Prepub Alert
11/01/2021 pg. 10Publishers Weekly
03/01/2022 pg. 26Kirkus Reviews
04/01/2022 pg. 80
About the Author
Okwiri Oduor was born in Nairobi, Kenya. Her short story "My Father's Head" won the 2014 Caine Prize for African Writing. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Granta, The New Inquiry, Kwani, and elsewhere. She has been a fellow at MacDowell and Art Omi and a visiting writer at the Lannan Center. Oduor has an MFA in creative writing from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She currently lives in Germany.