book cover of And Then He Sang a Lullaby

And Then He Sang a Lullaby

A novel by

The inaugural title from Roxane Gay Books, And Then He Sang a Lullaby is a searingly honest debut from a Nigerian writer and queer liberation activist, exploring what love and freedom cost in a society steeped in homophobia.
August is a talented athlete who leaves Enugu City to attend university and escape his overbearing sisters. It's his first semester and, pressures aside, he's making friends and doing well. He even almost has a girlfriend. There's only one problem: he can't stop thinking about Segun, an openly gay student who works at a local cybercafé. Their connection is undeniable, but Segun is reluctant to open himself up to August. He wants to love and be loved by a man who is comfortable in his own skin, who will see and hold and love Segun, exactly as he is.
Despite their differences, August and Segun forge a tender intimacy that defies the violence around them. But there is only so long Segun can stand being loved behind closed doors, while August lives a life beyond the world they've created together.
And when a new, sweeping anti-gay law is passed, August and Segun must find a way for their love to survive in a Nigeria that was always determined to eradicate them. A tale of rare bravery and profound beauty,
And Then He Sang a Lullaby is an extraordinary debut that marks Ani Kayode Somtochukwu as a voice to watch.

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"This moving debut is a touching queer coming of age story, a poignant romance, and, most affectingly, a damning indictment of the hate and homophobia that are all too prevalent in the modern world." - Rumaan Alam

"A beautifully-drawn book, tender and moving. I adored being in the embrace of Segun and August, as they navigate the unaccepting world around them and their longing for one another. Ani Kayode Somtochukwu writes with an ease and a wisdom that belies his age. This is exactly the kind of writing that makes your heart soar and whimper in equal parts." - Kasim Ali

"This book is astonishing. A gay love story set in present-day Nigeria, it's beautifully written but the experiences it explores are shocking, sobering and stirring. It's left me heartbroken but feeling privileged to have read it - and excited to see what Ani Kayode Somtochukwu writes next!" - Matt Cain

"After reading this courageous, heart-in-mouth debut about the lives and loves of young gay Nigerians I can't wait to see what Ani Kayode Somtochukwu writes next." - Patrick Gale

"In stunning, luminous prose, Ani Kayode Somtochukwu captures how it feels to carry both the love and burden of family, and what it costs to bear the weight of revolutions - the ones happening inside of us and beyond. A beautifully written, captivating debut!" - Deesha Philyaw

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