A Nigerian Catcher in the Rye, Uchenna Awoke’s masterful debut breaks the silence about a hidden and dangerous contemporary caste system

Fifteen-year-old Dimkpa dreams of the day his father will be made village head. He will return to school and maybe even go on to university; his mother will no longer have to break her back foraging wild food to sell at market; they will have the money to build a fine tomb for his aunt Okike; and his family’s status as ohu ma, the lowest Igbo caste, won’t matter anymore. But when his father is passed over for a younger man, breaking tradition, Dimkpa realizes that he must make his own fate.

Journeying from his small village in rural Nigeria, to Lagos, Awka, and home again, Dimkpa learns that no money is easy money, that superstition runs deep, that knowledge is power, and that sometimes it is better to live in the present than to always be chasing a future just out of reach.

The Liquid Eye of a Moon is by turns hilarious and poignant, capturing all the messiness of adolescence, and the difficulty of making your own way in a world that seeks to oppress you.
UCHENNA AWOKE lives and writes in Nsukka, Nigeria. His short stories have appeared in Transition, Elsewhere Lit, Trestle Ties, Oyster River Pages, The Evergreen Review, and other places. He received fellowships from MacDowell and the Vermont Studio Center in 2017 and 2019 respectively. He is an Artist Protection Fund Fellow and the inaugural Arkansas International Writer-at-Risk Residency Fellow, currently living in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He is also a 2019 Graywolf Africa Prize finalist. The Liquid Eye of a Moon is his debut novel.

About

A Nigerian Catcher in the Rye, Uchenna Awoke’s masterful debut breaks the silence about a hidden and dangerous contemporary caste system

Fifteen-year-old Dimkpa dreams of the day his father will be made village head. He will return to school and maybe even go on to university; his mother will no longer have to break her back foraging wild food to sell at market; they will have the money to build a fine tomb for his aunt Okike; and his family’s status as ohu ma, the lowest Igbo caste, won’t matter anymore. But when his father is passed over for a younger man, breaking tradition, Dimkpa realizes that he must make his own fate.

Journeying from his small village in rural Nigeria, to Lagos, Awka, and home again, Dimkpa learns that no money is easy money, that superstition runs deep, that knowledge is power, and that sometimes it is better to live in the present than to always be chasing a future just out of reach.

The Liquid Eye of a Moon is by turns hilarious and poignant, capturing all the messiness of adolescence, and the difficulty of making your own way in a world that seeks to oppress you.

Author

UCHENNA AWOKE lives and writes in Nsukka, Nigeria. His short stories have appeared in Transition, Elsewhere Lit, Trestle Ties, Oyster River Pages, The Evergreen Review, and other places. He received fellowships from MacDowell and the Vermont Studio Center in 2017 and 2019 respectively. He is an Artist Protection Fund Fellow and the inaugural Arkansas International Writer-at-Risk Residency Fellow, currently living in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He is also a 2019 Graywolf Africa Prize finalist. The Liquid Eye of a Moon is his debut novel.

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