Literary Circle

You Can Now Preorder Jumoke Verissimo’s Debut Novel

Jumoke Verissimo
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Jumoke Verissimo has announced that her debut book A Small Silence is now available for preorder.

the poet-turned-novelist made the announcement earlier today 21 January 2019 on her Facebook wall. She wrote:

“It was difficult writing this novel. You see, I wrote this book with my blood dripping down my old IBM computer–if you consider how lifeless I became when the characters in my story drained me of feeling anything else but theirs.”

According to Jumoke Verissimo, she had tried to abandon the story for A Small Silence many times but could not. She’d gotten the idea for the book back in 2010 during a conversation with a friend after NEPA struck, then returned to her house to draft the first chapter. This first chapter was then published later that year as a short story Lightless Room in the collection Daughters of Eve and Other New Short Stories from Nigeria. She wrote the first draft of the novel on her old IBM computer in her brother’s flat.

“Would I go crazy?” Jumoke Verissimo wrote on Facebook.  “I could see my characters. I sat in darkness—thanks to constant power outage—trying to make sense of what it could be to my character….

“Whenever I left the house, I hurried back to see what the dark and the silence could produce for my characters. Prof and Desire, my main characters, wanted to tell their own story. They showed me what it was to be in the dark and find silence between conversations. I lost my social relations skills. It was awful. Yet, I look back and I am grateful I wrote this book, as I learned how silence has more to say to us about darkness than we acknowledge.”

A Small Silence by Jumoke Verissimo is a story about a retired Professor who resolves to live a life of darkness after his release from prison for his rage against society and activism. “He holes up in his apartment, pushing away friends and family, embraces his status as an urban legend in the neighborhood until a knock at the door shakes his new existence. Desire, the visitor is an orphan and final year student who has always idolized Prof. Tentatively, the two begin to form a bond, as she returns every night at 9 pm to see him. However, the darkness of the room becomes a steady torment that threatens to drive Desire away for good” (Cassava Republic Press).

It has been a long time since we last enjoyed a full body of work from Verissimo. Her debut poetry collection I am Memory was first published in 2008 by Design and Dream Arts Enterprises. It won a T.M. Aluko Prize for First Book of fiction. It also earned the second prize, Ibrahim Tahir Prize for Fiction, Abuja Writers Forum Literary Contest.

We are super happy for Jumoke’s forthcoming book, and can’t wait to have it in our hands.

How to pre-order

The book will be released July 2, 2019, by Cassava Republic. You can pre-order it here and be the first to get it when it drops! Please SHARE to let your friends know!


Meanwhile, check out these other books that we can’t wait to read in 2019.

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