Our May 2022 Book Club Pick 

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About the Book


The Manor Mabel Brown looms high over Mapeli Town, its rickety gate flanked by stone angels with severed heads, its yard full of tangled thorns and wildflowers. Inside these ramshackle walls lives Ayosa, twelve years old and the loneliest girl in the world.

With her mother prone to frequent disappearances, Ayosa's only companions are the ghosts and spirits who wander through her Kenyan village. She craves escape, but more than that she longs for the love of her fearsome mother, Nabumbo Promise. 

When a new friend arrives in the shape of Mbiu, Ayosa is forced to choose between protecting her mama and seizing a life of her own.

Okwiri Oduor's stunningly original debut novel sings with Kenyan folklore and myth as it traces the fragile, intoxicating bond between a mother and daughter like no other. 

About the Author

Okwiri Oduor (born 1988/1989) is a Kenyan writer, who won the 2014 Caine Prize.

In April 2014 she was named on the Hay Festival's Africa39 list of 39 Sub-Saharan African writers aged under 40 with potential and talent to define trends in African literature, with her story "Rag Doll" being included in the subsequent anthology edited by Ellah Allfrey, Africa39: New Writing from Africa South of the Sahara.

Her novella, The Dream Chasers was highly commended in the Commonwealth Book Prize, 2012 and her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Amka and Femrite anthologies, the New Inquiry, Kwani?, Saraba magazine, and Africa Writing Online. She is a 2014 MacDowell Colony fellow.

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