Chukwuebuka Ibeh - Blessings **NEW DATE**

Monday, June 24, 2024 - 6:00pm

New date for the event! We are now rescheduled for June 24th at 6pm at Left Bank Books!

Left Bank Books presents Chukwuebuka Ibeh for the launch event to celebrate his highly anticipated debut novel BlessingsNamed one of USA Today, Esquire, & Cosmopolitan's most anticipated books of 2024, we are excited to discuss this book by Ibeh who was profiled as one of the "Most Promising New Voices of Nigerian Fiction" by Electric Literature. Currently a Washington University MFA student, Ibeh is certainly going to be an author to watch.

Ibeh will be in conversation with celebrated author Danielle Dutton.

Ibeh will personalize and sign copies after the presentation! Personalized and signed copies will be available to be mailed anywhere in the country. For personalized copies, please order before noon on June 4th.

Join us at Left Bank Books
399 N. Euclid Ave
St. Louis, MO 63108
Watch the livestream on Left Bank Books' YouTube Page
Please RSVP for this event

 

 

About the Speaker

CHUKWUEBUKA IBEH is a writer from Port Harcourt, Nigeria, born in 2000. His writing has appeared in McSweeneysNew England Review of Books and Lolwe, amongst others, and he is a staff writer at Brittle Paper. He was the runner-up for the 2021 J.F. Powers Prize for Fiction, was a finalist for the Gerald Kraak Award, and was profiled as one of the "Most Promising New Voices of Nigerian Fiction" by Electric Literature. He has studied creative writing under Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Dave Eggers, and Tash Aw, and is currently a an MFA student at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

Danielle Dutton is the author of the novels Margaret the First and SPRAWL, the story collection Attempts at a Life, and Prairie, Dresses, Art, Other, a collection forthcoming from Coffee House Press in April 2024. She also wrote the text interpolations in Richard Kraft’s Here Comes Kitty: A Comic Opera and an illustrated nonfiction chapbook on fiction/visual art called A Picture Held Us Captive. Her fiction and criticism has appeared in The New YorkerThe Paris ReviewThe White ReviewConjunctionsThe Brooklyn RailMusic & LiteratureHarper’sBOMBFenceNOON, etc.

In 2009, Dutton co-founded, with Martin Riker, the feminist press Dorothy, a publishing project. The press was named for her great aunt Dorothy, a librarian, rose gardener, animal lover, and children’s book author who drove a station wagon through the backroads of Southern California, delivering books to rural desert communities. Over the years, Dorothy has published books by established innovative writers including Renee Gladman, Cristina Rivera Garza, Amina Cain, Nathalie Léger, and Leonora Carrington, and it launched the publishing careers of Nell Zink, Suzanne Scanlon, Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi, Jen George, and Giada Scodellaro. Dutton does the cover and text design/composition for Dorothy’s books. In 2020, Riker and Dutton won the Golden Colophon Award for Paradigm Independent Publishing from the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses. 

 

About Blessings

"Chukwuebuka Ibeh's writing has a certain delicacy to it, so wonderfully observant, and so beautiful." --Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, author of Americanah

Moonlight meets Purple Hibiscus in this searing debut of self-acceptance, sexual awakening, and first love set in a Nigeria on the verge of criminalizing same-sex relationships

Obiefuna has always been the black sheep of his family--sensitive where his father, Anozie, is pragmatic, a dancer where his brother, Ekene, is a natural athlete. But when Obiefuna's father witnesses an intimate moment between his teenage son and another boy, his deepest fears are confirmed, and Obiefuna is banished to boarding school.

As he navigates his new school's strict hierarchy and unpredictable violence, Obiefuna both finds and hides who he truly is. Back home, his mother, Uzoamaka, must contend with the absence of her beloved son, her husband's cryptic reasons for sending him away, and the hard truths that they've all been hiding from. As Nigeria teeters on the brink of criminalizing same-sex relationships, Obiefuna's identity becomes more dangerous than ever before, and the life he wants drifts further out of reach.

Set in post-military Nigeria and culminating in the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act of 2013, Blessings is an elegant and exquisitely moving story that asks how to live freely in a country that forbids one's truest self, and what it takes for love to flourish despite it all.

 

Named one of USA Today, Esquire, & Cosmopolitan's most anticipated books of 2024

"Chukwuebuka Ibeh's writing has a certain delicacy to it, so wonderfully observant, and so beautiful." -- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, author of Americanah and Purple Hibiscus

Blessings is a stunning and exceptionally moving story of love, shame, redemption and fierce familial bonds. In sublime, evocative prose and from alternating points of view, Ibeh tells the story of Uzoamaka and Obiefuna as mother and son come to transformative realizations about themselves and each other. Ibeh has an elegant and passionate way with language, from the depictions of the Nigerian cultural landscape and its tense reckonings with queerness to the gorgeous mundanities of the protagonists' home lives and the various dynamics of religion, class, and schoolboyhood. I'm grateful that this beautiful book exists, and I will return to it again and again as if for the first time." -- Francesca Ekwuyasi, author of Butter Honey Pig Bread

Blessings is as raw and heart-wrenching as it is beautiful and delicate. A masterfully executed story about love, faith and sexuality that clenches your heart and doesn't let go until the very last page. Ibeh is a once in a lifetime talent!" -- Elvin James Mensah, author of Small Joys

"A sublime coming-of-age tale... An extraordinarily composed and deeply felt debut." -- The Guardian

"Magnificent... Complex and generationally driven... Ibeh has the ability to ensure his political positions inform, rather than overwhelm, the intimate dramas at the heart of his fiction. He's vocal about the writers he admires - among them, Buchi Emecheta, Jhumpa Lahiri, Zadie Smith, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - and clearly ambitious. With writing this good, it's to be hoped he'll soon find his name among their ranks." --The Telegraph

"A moving story about truths that can't be hidden and finding a way to live freely when it's against the law." --USA Today

"There is an unparalleled pleasure in something short and searing. Chukwuebuka Ibeh's debut is set in modern-day Nigeria, where the country's criminalisation of same-sex marriage has created a hostile atmosphere for the LGBTQ+ population. After an intimate moment with the family apprentice, Obiefuna is sent to a Christian boarding school by his father. So begins a process of self-discovery. Blessings is told from Obiefuna and his mother's perspective, a dynamic which has plenty of potential for the profound." -- Esquire

Event address: 
399 N. Euclid Ave.
Saint Louis, MO 63108
Books: 
Blessings: A Novel By Chukwuebuka Ibeh Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780385550642
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Doubleday - June 4th, 2024

Prairie, Dresses, Art, Other By Danielle Dutton Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781566897037
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Coffee House Press - April 23rd, 2024

A Picture Held Us Captive By Danielle Dutton, Nicholas Muellner (Editor), Catherine Taylor (Editor) Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9781733497121
Availability: Ships quickly (1-7 days)
Published: Image Text Ithaca - May 10th, 2022

Staff Pick Badge
Margaret the First: A Novel By Danielle Dutton Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781936787357
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Catapult - March 15th, 2016

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