Dazzling by Chikodili Emelumadu – a magical, award-winning literary debut that offers a new take on West African mythology
More about the book!
Chikodili Emelumadu’s award-winning debut novel Dazzling is out now from Jonathan Ball Publishers.
Soon you will become the thing all other beasts fear.
Treasure and her mother lost everything when Treasure’s daddy died. Haggling for scraps in the market, Treasure meets a spirit who promises to bring her father back – but she has to do something for him first.
Ozoemena has an itch in the middle of her back that can’t be scratched. An itch that speaks to her patrilineal destiny, to defend her people by becoming a leopard. Her father impressed upon her what an honour this was before he vanished, but it’s one she couldn’t want less.
But as the two girls reckon with their burgeoning wildness and the legacy of their fathers’ decisions, Ozoemena’s fellow students at her new boarding school start to vanish. Treasure and Ozoemena will face terrible choices as each must ask herself: in a world that always says ‘no’ to women, what must two young girls sacrifice to get what is theirs?
‘Dazzling is a feast of shimmering , beautiful prose. Dark and humorous in places, it is an incessantly pleasurable read. Emelumadu has gifted us a thing of beauty.’ – Chika Unigwe
‘I struggled to come up with a line that captures the magic within. Emelumadu’s singular debut is uncanny and affecting in equal measure.’ – TL Huchu
‘I was bewitched … I would not have guessed this was first novel; Emelumadu seems to have writing naturally in the blood.’ – Tracy Chevalier, author of The Girl With the Pearl Earring
About the author
Chikodili Emelumadu was born in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, in the United Kingdom and raised in Awka, Nigeria. A product of not one but two Nigerian boarding schools, she went on to attend Nnamdi Azikiwe University in Nigeria and the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. She was the winner of the Curtis Brown First Novel Prize in 2019, for Dazzling. Her work has also been shortlisted for the Shirley Jackson Awards (2015), a Nommo Award (2020) and the Caine Prize for African Literature (2017 & 2020).