Japa and Other Stories
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Japa and Other Stories

Title Details

Pages: 168

Trim size: 5.500in x 8.500in

Formats

Paperback

Pub Date: 09/01/2024

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6727-9

List Price: $25.95

eBook

Pub Date: 09/01/2024

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6729-3

List Price: $25.95

eBook

Pub Date: 09/01/2024

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6728-6

List Price: $25.95

Japa and Other Stories

Stories that consider what it means to search for a connection far from home

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  • Description
  • Reviews

These eight brutally beautiful stories are struck full of fragmented dreams, with highly developed thieves, misadventurers, and displaced characters all heaving through a human struggle to anchor themselves in a new home or sometimes a new reality. This book is about young Nigerian immigrants who bilocate, trek through the desert, become temporary Mormons, sneak through Russia, and yearn for new life in strange new territories that force them to confront what it means to search for a connection far from home.

Japa and Other Stories came out of a struggle Iheoma Nwachukwu faced when trying to orient himself in the United States of 2017 to 2021, when attitudes toward immigrants suddenly shifted. The Japa characters explored in this book are immigrants who have no plans to return to their home country—for voluntary reasons—although they retain a strong connection to home.

Japa and Other Stories is a brilliant collection of stories so ravishingly voiced that we inhabit African immigrants in the USA as if their souls were our own, allowing us to intensely share—as indeed we all share in our universal humanity—the yearning to find a self, an identity, a place in the universe. Iheoma Nwachukwu is a literary artist of the highest order.

—Robert Olen Butler, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain

Japa and Other Stories is a triumph: funny and ruthless, about every variety of longing there is on this earth. Nwachukwu is a terrific chronicler of the human condition, across continents and also close up, and a writer of truly brilliant short stories.

—Elizabeth McCracken, author of The Hero of This Book

Gorillas in Malaysia. U-Haul trucks in Utah. International soccer matches in Finland. What do these things have in common? These are just some of the props in Nwachukwu’s Japa and Other Stories. This eclectic collection exceeds expectations—it not only reveals an untold Pynchonesque America rarely captured by African diaspora fiction in its Utah and Tallahassee settings but then returns to the mother continent paying homage in its seductive strangeness to Bolano in a Zanzibar and Equatorial Guinea like we’ve never seen before. Japa is a major delight of staggering ambition not only in its attempt to capture 'Nigerian-ness' but in testing story form at every turn.

—Billy Kahora, author of The Cape Cod Bicycle War and Other Stories

About the Author/Editor

IHEOMA NWACHUKWU is a fiction writer and poet. He has won fellowships from the Mississippi Arts Commission, the Michener Center, and the Chinua Achebe Center. His work has been published in Ploughshares, the Southern Review, the Iowa Review, AGNI, Electric Literature, Crazyhorse, and other venues. Nwachukwu is an assistant professor at Eastern University and lives in Pennsylvania.