‘Gasp in wonder’ Marlon James, author of Black Leopard, Red Wolf
‘Electrifying’ Irenosen Okojie, author of Nudibranch
‘Joyous, defiant’ Caleb Azumah Nelson, author of Open Water
VAGABONDS! is a tumultuous and unexpectedly joyous novel of oppression and defiance among the people and spirits of Lagos.
Lagos is a city for all . . . you share this place with flesh and not-flesh, and it’s just as much their city as it is yours.
Èkó, the spirit of Lagos, and his loyal minion Tatafo weave trouble through the streets of Lagos and through the lives of the ‘vagabonds’ powering modern Nigeria: the queer, the displaced and the footloose.
With Tatafo as our guide we meet these people in the shadows. Among them are a driver for a debauched politician; a lesbian couple whose tender relationship sheds unexpected light on their experience with underground sex work; a mother who attends a secret spiritual gathering that shifts her reality. As their lives begin to intertwine―in markets and underground clubs, in churches and hotel rooms―the vagabonds are seized and challenged by the spirits who command the city. A force is drawing them all together, but for what purpose?
In her debut novel VAGABONDS!, Eloghosa Osunde tackles the insidious nature of Nigerian capitalism, corruption and oppression, and offers a defiant, joyous and inventive tribute to all those for whom life itself is a form of resistance.
‘Every year promises the birth of the next literary superstar… VAGABONDS! is an exceptional debut’ i-D
‘Dazzling, haunting, angular and funny’ TLS
‘If you read one debut novel … this should be it’ Los Angeles Times
‘Gasp-inducing … captures the lives of outsiders with spirit and tenderness’ AnOther
‘There is nothing in the world like this book’ Lesley Nneka Arimah, author of What It Means When A Man Falls From The Sky
Eloghosa Osunde is a Nigerian writer and multidisciplinary artist. Her short stories have been published in Catapult, Guernica, Berlin Quarterly and The Paris Review where she has a column, and her visual art exhibited across four continents so far. She is the winner of the 2021 Paris Review Plimpton Prize for Fiction, as well as an ASME Award for fiction. Vagabonds! was a finalist for the Waterstones Debut Fiction Prize and longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize.
”'You don’t read this novel. You swan dive into it, then gasp in wonder” - Marlon James, author of A Brief History of Seven Killings
”'I’m in awe of Osunde’s writing … I can’t wait for others to delve into the joyous, defiant world she has rendered for her debut novel, VAGABONDS!” - Caleb Azumah Nelson, author of Open Water
”'Every year promises the birth of the next literary superstar… Eloghosa Osunde’s VAGABONDS! is an exceptional debut” - i-D
”'A feast of a book, a marvelous ode to spirits and outsiders that is irreverent (and painfully funny) while being serious enough to drill a hole in one’s chest. There is nothing in the world like this book” - Lesley Nneka Arimah, author of What It Means When A Man Falls From The Sky
”'A novel as vivid and varied as the city itself” - Harper’s Bazaar
'Osunde’s gasp-inducing novel takes us to the Lagos streets with an ensemble of misfits and vagabonds, each with their own stories of queerness, personal demons, all-consuming love… Immerse yourself in Osunde’s kaleidoscopic world' AnOther Magazine -
”'An explosive portrait of Nigeria that will blow your mind - in prose that feels so alive it practically vibrates off the page. A masterpiece” - Lidia Yuknavitch, author of The Book of Joan
”'A dazzling, hypnotic portrait of lives lived on the margins” - T Kira Madden, author of Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls
”'A vibrant blend of big-city life and contemporary mythology” - New York Times
”'Osunde’s writing is rich and sensorial … Vagabonds! is alive with magical potential in the face of oppression” - Creative Review