WINNER OF THE NLNG NIGERIA PRIZE FOR LITERATURE
An affair between 55-year-old widow Binta Zubairu and 25-year-old weed dealer Reza was bound to provoke condemnation in conservative Northern Nigeria. Binta – previously reconciled with God – now yearns for intimacy after the sexual repression of her marriage, the pain of losing her first son and the privations of widowhood. Meanwhile, Reza’s heart lies empty and waiting to be filled due to the absence of a mother. The situation comes to a head when Binta’s wealthy son confronts Reza, with disastrous consequences. This story of love and longing – set against undercurrents of political violence – unfurls gently, revealing layers of emotion that defy age, class and religion.
Abubakar Adam Ibrahim’s Season of Crimson Blossoms is a tender love story set against the backdrop of religious violence and politics in northern Nigeria, told in the slow, naturalist style reminiscent of Stephen Crane and Zola. Perhaps the best book I have read this year. – Helon Habila, author of Oil on Water and The Chibok Girls
Abubakar Adam Ibrahim is exactly what Northern Nigerian Literature should look like. This is a very moving book, a love story, with the unlikeliest of protagonists… a Muslim mother with grown-up kids, and her robber. My novel of the year. Just beautiful. – Binyavanga Wainaina, author of One Day I Will Write About This Place
A haunting story of forbidden love trying to survive in the midst of social and political violence; of obligation versus personal freedom; of desire and death. Vivid characters, good dialogues and a strong sense of location are the perfect ingredients. – Veronique Tadjo, author of As The Crow Flies
A powerful and compelling debut. The taboo subject of an older woman’s sexuality, portrayed with courage, skill and delicacy, is explored in the context of the criminal underworld and the corrupt politics that exploits it. Thus, elegantly, and with compassion for the powerless, Ibrahim gives us unique insight into contemporary Nigerian society. This is a novel to be savoured. – Zoe Wicomb, author of October and Chair of Judges, The Caine Prize for African Writing, 2015
A rich and vibrant novel with shades of brutality, romance and the pressures of a close knit community. – Leila Aboulela author of The Kindness of Enemies
This is a brave and important novel which shocks and excites in equal measure with its echoes of Marquez, Soyinka and Ben Okri. – Toni Kan, author of The Carnivorous City