In a small town in western Nigeria, four young brothers – the youngest is nine, the oldest fifteen – use their strict father's absence from home to go fishing at a forbidden local river.
The encounter a dangerous local madman who predicts that the oldest brother will be killed by another. This prophesy breaks their strong bond, and unleashes a tragic chain of events of almost mythic proportions.
Passionate and bold, The Fishermen is a breathtakingly beautiful novel, firmly rooted in the best of African storytelling.
With this powerful debut, Chigozie Obioma emerges as one of the most original new voices in world literature.
Read Caroline Baum's Review
An exciting new voice from Nigeria causing justifiable buzz, Obioma harnesses the power of a terrible, almost Biblical fatalism in the story of two brothers who shatter their modest family life.
After the brothers are caught fishing at the river against their parents' wishes, a local madman makes a prophecy that one of the brothers will be killed by a fisherman. Like a threatening storm, a sense of foreboding and imminent doom fills the air as the brothers grow up. Ikenna, the eldest, becomes moody and violent, bringing events to a tragic outcome, as told through the eyes of nine year old narrator Benjamin. The unadorned prose is vivid with detail offering a rich sense of life in Nigeria, where traditional superstition collides with newer, more western values in a nation seething with violent unrest and struggling with poverty.
About the Author
Chigozie Obioma was born in 1986 in Akure, Nigeria. His short stories have appeared in the Virginia Quarterly Review and New Madrid. He was a Fall 2012 OMI Fellow at Ledig House, New York. He has lived in Nigeria, Cyprus and Turkey, and currently resides in the United States, where he has completed an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Michigan. The Fishermen is his first novel.
'Obioma writes with gorgeous restraint reminiscent of the intricate prose in a Tolstoy novella. Every sentence delivers a precise and heartfelt blow. Hardly anyone writing today is delivering this level of intricacy, lyricism and control. Add to that, the urgency and importance of his message. It just doesn't get better than this. Get used to the name: Obioma is here to stay.' Alexandra Fuller, award-winning author of Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight
'Obioma's remarkable fiction is at once urgently, vividly immediate, yet simultaneously charged with the elemental power of myth.' Peter Ho Davies, author of The Welsh Girl
'Awesome in the true sense of the word: crackling with life, freighted with death, vertiginous both in its style and in the elemental power of its story. Few novels deserve to be called 'mythic', but Chigozie Obioma's The Fishermen is certainly one of them. A truly magnificent debut.' Eleanor Catton, Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Luminaries
'Myth, madness and magic - this is an urgent book full of blood and beauty.' Omar Musa, author of Here Come the Dogs
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: 25th February 2015
Publisher: Scribe Publications
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.3 x 2.1
Weight (kg): 0.42