“Dreaming Of Ways To Understand You”, Jerry Chiemeke, 2020, Okadabooks/Amazon/Magic Wand Publishing
“Chiemeke writes immersive, interrogative prose.” – Dami Ajayi, author of Clinical Blues and A Woman’s Body Is A Country
“These stories have grit, sweat blood and tears – Jerry touches every raw nerve with this collection” – William Moore, author of 13 Moons and Sky Sage
In his debut full-length work of fiction, writer and award-winning culture critic, Jerry Chiemeke provides a unique spin on the telling of African stories. With prose that is as gritty as it is irreverent, he embarks on a journey that stretches from nightclubs in Lagos all the way to forests in Asaba, with a few detours to dirt roads in Warri.
In this body of work, Chiemeke chronicles the dreams, aspirations, interactions, tears and desperations of a disillusioned demographic navigating its existence in urban contemporary Nigeria. The narrative telescope zooms in on clapping thighs in bath tubs, eerie songs on high seas, chunks of flesh on bloodied sheets, and weeping lovers in hotel rooms.
Known in literary circles for his reviews and essays on music and film, Chiemeke gets in tune with his imaginative side this time and weaves compelling narratives that dwell on mental health, ethnic dynamics, sexuality, body positivity, identity and virtual romance.
Well aware of his audience and the potential reach of his words, he renders these riveting stories with a blend of standard English, colloquial grammar and expressions from indigenous languages. Comprised of stories that evoke tears and laughter as well as goose bumps, this book is rich in soul, in penmanship and in culture.
“Dreaming of Ways To Understand You” is a collection of fifteen short stories that explore the complexities of human relationships. These stories take us on a journey through the lives of complex characters who attempt to navigate the intricacies of living in contemporary Nigeria: an online hookup takes a really awkward turn, a secondary school reunion brings back memories of sexual assault, a lawyer struggles to keep up with the mental health complexities of his love interest, a queer woman battles with decade-long commitment issues, and a young man is forced to reminisce on a childhood crush while reliving moments from a difficult past.
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About The Author:
Jerry Chiemeke is a columnist, culture critic and lawyer. His works have appeared in The Inlandia Journal, The Johannesburg Review of Books, The Guardian, Honey & Lime, Bone and Ink Press and Agbowo, among others. A lover of long walks and alternative rock music, Chiemeke lives in Lagos, Nigeria where he is working on a novel. He is the winner of the 2017 Ken Saro Wiwa Prize for Reviews, and he was shortlisted for the 2019 Diana Woods Memorial Award for Creative Nonfiction.
Chiemeke has been a featured contributor for platforms like Okadabooks, Bellanaija, The Bagus, The Lagos Review and the Opera News Hub. He has also facilitated writing workshops in different parts of Nigeria, and for his contribution to the Nigerian literary community, he was presented with the 2019 Connect Nigeria Award for Excellence.
15th September 2020 (Okadabooks)
15th September 2020 (Amazon)
2nd October, 2020 (Print, Magic Wand Publishing)
Release Date: 02-10-2020 | Okadabooks: N1,000 | Amazon: $9.99 | Print: N3,000
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