Chris Abani's picture

Chris Abani

Nigeria (b.1966)

Chris Abani is a Nigerian poet and novelist and the author of The Virgin of Flames, Becoming Abigail (a New York Times Editor's Choice), and GraceLand (a selection of the Today Show Book Club and winner of the 2005 PEN/Hemingway Prize and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award). His other prizes include a PEN Freedom to Write Award, a Prince Claus Award, and a Lannan Literary Fellowship. He lives and teaches in California.

Genres: Mystery
   Kalakuta Republic (poems) (2000)
   Daphne's Lot (poems) (2003)
   Dog Woman (poems) (2004)
   Hands Washing Water (poems) (2006)
   Feed Me the Sun (poems) (2010)
   Sanctificum (poems) (2010)
   There Are No Names for Red (poems) (2010)
   New-Generation African Poets (poems) (2016) (with Kwame Dawes)
   Smoking the Bible (poems) (2022)
   Tisa: New-Generation African Poets (poems) (2023) (with Kwame Dawes)
Series contributed to
Non fiction
   The Face (2015)
International IMPAC Dublin Literary Awards Best Novel nominee (2006) : Graceland
Edgar Awards Best Paperback original winner (2015) : The Secret History of Las Vegas

Chris Abani recommends
No Space for Further Burials (2010)
Feryal Ali Gauhar
"In No Space for Further Burials, Feryal Ali Gauhar has crafted a novel of unrelenting truth held in transcendent prose and an exquisite grace. There is no easy redemption here, but there is light and more light."
Embassy Wife (2021)
Katie Crouch
"It is never easy for a writer to enter into the persona or voices not entirely their own. But then, that is what writing is at heart - to dare to imagine and render with integrity and compassion, vulnerability and as much honesty as we can, the experiences of our characters in the stories that come out of our particular hauntings. When a writer can bring a full measure of self reflexivity to it, then the work is even better for it. In this book of big hearts and fears, and complex and sometimes contradictory characters set against the backdrop of Namibia, we come to see all these qualities. Katie Crouch has crafted an honest and complicated novel of true human beings struggling to be more than they are with less than they should have. Embassy Wife is a deeply human story won with grace and elegance."
North (2021)
Brad Kessler
"Brad Kessler has an unusual empathy for stories. Original and deliberate in approach, he leans into the heart of difficulty and lets the sheer human dignity of his characters, no matter what duress they are under, lead the story to a hard-won but exquisite grace. This book has a distinctive tenor and a voice full of hope."
Flight Risk (2021)
Joy Castro
"Joy Castro writes with a balanced urgency—elegant sentences tempered with grace and intelligence, clear and gripping character arcs and story lines—and with a depth and dimension that leans into the transformative. Another strong book."

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