Friday, May 12, 2006

We have moved!

Our shiny new website is

Thursday, May 11, 2006

The authors (more to come in 2007)

Diana Evans has contributed journalism and criticism to Marie Claire, the Observer, the Daily Telegraph, the Independent and the Source. She is a graduate of the University of East Anglia’s Creative Writing MA and has published short fiction in a number of anthologies. Her first novel 26a, received a Betty Trask award, a nomination for the Guardian First Book Award and was shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel of the Year Award. It was the inaugural winner of the Orange Award for New Writers. She lives in London.


Peter Parker, Daily Telegraph

‘Evans has her own distinctive voice: highly coloured, linguistically inventive... Evans has a powerful and often beguiling imagination’

Financial Times

‘A striking debut novel’

Andrea Enisuoh, New Nation

‘Magical, funny and devastatingly intense… It really does deserve the hype’

Tracey Macleod, Marie Claire

‘Diffuse and dream-like, but it has its own haunting atmosphere’

Maya Jaggi, Guardian

‘The writing is both mature and freshly perceptive, creating not only a warmly funny novel of a Neasden childhood - with its engaging minutiae of flapjacks and icepops, lip gloss and daisy hairclips- but a haunting account of the loss of innocence and mental disintegration.’

Dipika Guha, Times Literary Supplement

‘A narrative voice that is tender and evocative drifts seamlessly… Diana Evans’s prose is sensual and poetic,as well as powerful and uncompromising…26a is a mature, compelling and beautiful first novel’

Abidemi Sanusi was born in Lagos, and was educated in the UK at boarding schools in Sussex and Oxfordshire, and then at Leeds University. Sanusi is a human rights worker and writer, specialising in gender and conflict issues in West Africa. Sanusi also holds several, popular writer’s workshop. Apart from writing, her ambitions include marathon running and politics. She is also the director of Levite Scribe, a writing services company, which also runs creative writing courses. Kemi’s Journal is her first work of fiction. She has just completed her second novel, Zack's Story of Life, Love and Everything


Paul Majendie Reuters

‘With her debut novel, Nigerian writer Abidemi Sanusi has created a Christian Bridget Jones for whom the power of prayer, not partying, is what life is all about. The light tone of her confessional diary turns sharply from light to dark’

Christianity and Youthwork magazines

‘Kemi’s Journal…surprised me with its grittiness and realism. Loose ends, hard decisions and painful resolutions keep this real to the very end.’

Christine Miles, Independent on Sunday

‘Fag in one hand, glass of wine in another, she was a desperate 30- something singleton who finally got her man. But a new Bridget Jones is about to hit the bookshops who doesn't drink, doesn't smoke and instead of celebrating her coital encounters, struggles with the morality of having sex. This is Bridget Jones the Christian version.’

Helon Habila read Literature at University of Jos and lectured in English for two years at the Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi, before turning to journalism in 1999. He worked as Arts Editor for the Lagos newspaper, Vanguard.

Habila has received many awards including the MUSON Poetry Prize for his poem, Another Age in 2000, Caine Prize for African Writing in 2001 for his short story, Love Poems. His first novel, Waiting for an Angel, was awarded the Commonwealth Prize for Best First Book (African Region) in 2003. He was the first African Writing Fellow at the University of East Anglia and the William B. Quarton fellow at the 2004 University of Iowa International Writing Programme, he was also the John Farrar Fellow in Fiction at the 2003 Bread Loaf Writers Conference. He has just completed his second novel, Measuring Time.


The Observer
This is a beautifully judged work, powerful, compassionate and complete.
Publishers Weekly
This is a startlingly vivid novel....Habila paints an extraordinary tableau.

Library Journal
Habila's fictionalization...reveals the true casualties of oppression better than any news or history.
Habila's language is joyous—a celebration of artistic freedom and a stylish two fingers at his previous oppressors.

Teju Cole is an art historian based in New York. He recently returned to Nigeria after a long absence. On return, he published a blog of his experiences which quickly became celebrated. Every day is for the Thief is a fictional fantasia based on his blog, with an unnamed narrator similar to but not identical with the author. His subtle and nuanced prose explores themes as diverse as the minor joys of daily Lagosian existence to the crudities of contemporary forms of corruption. His work is both a critique and a message of hope to a Nigeria rapidly in transformation.



‘Your writing affirms, for me, the wonder of the quotidian and the joy of ephemera’.

zhoen | January 29, 2006 at 03:41 PM

‘I feel like part of a live audience, and will tell friends, "Yes, I read this amazing writer, but it was only up for a short while. Such insight, such glorious stories, all gone now. Don't know what happened to him.”’

MB | January 30, 2006 at 07:11 PM

‘This is a very compelling story. It seems to touch a nerve near the core of our humanity. Beautifully told, and beautifully lived’.

Anderson | January 30, 2006 at 10:59 AM

‘Thank you for a most fantastic and spiritual journey. Your words are etched deep into my epidermal’.

Dauda | January 28, 2006 at 08:12 PM

‘I find your blog the best window on the complexities of Nigerian life that I have encountered. I am an American at home in the north, but with limited experience in the south’

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The tours

The next Cassava Republic tour will be with Abidemi Sanusi in late November 2006, promoting her book Kemi's Journal (as well as its sequel, Jack's Story). Meanwhile, here is a review of the recently-concluded tour of 26a with Diana Evans.

Diana Evans tours Nigeria

The recently concluded Diana Evans’ tour of Nigeria with her award-winning debut novel 26a took in four cities: Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Katsina. In Lagos, she addressed audiences at the new-look British Council (winner of the RIBA award in international architecture) and at famed culturati hotspot Jazzhole on Awolowo Road. As well as a reading from her book, both events featured performances from local upcoming artists, in line with Cassava Republic’s mission to promote emerging performance talent. A young female artiste by the name of Savannah lulled the gathering with her sweet and soaring voice. Next up was a performance poet by the name of Hassan the Sage, with his rapid-fire witty delivery.

After seeing some of the sights of Lagos and attending a couple of private receptions in her honour, Diana travelled up to Kano and Katsina, reading her work to enthusiastic crowds. This was Diana’s first trip to Northern Nigeria, giving her a flavour of some of Nigeria’s contrasting landscapes and cultures. She discussed her work at length with a British-council based reading group. After the Kano event, the tour continued onwards to Abuja, with a reading at the British Council (this time featuring the extraordinary talents of Jos-based musicians Marphy and Christine) and an outing at the Signature Gallery (in partnership with the Abuja Literary Society).

Finally, it was time to return to Lagos, with one last reading – this time at the Media Store at Galleria. Diana was happy to have ventured back to Nigeria for the first time in over a decade, and hopes to visit much more frequently in the future. Meanwhile, Nigerian readers eager to lap up new literary talent enjoyed their opportunity to meet with a rising star in the Nigerian diaspora.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Become a Cassava Republic author..

We are currently only accepting, novels, short stories, a few non-fiction and children's stories that focus on contemporary African experience on the continent and in the diaspora. To submit, no initial email or phone call is required, just send a one page synopsis and three chapters of your manuscript by email:

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Where to buy our books

Nu Metro Ceddi Plaza Ceddi Plaza, Plot 264, Tafawa Balewa Way, Central Area Abuja
Nu Metro Silverbird Galleria Ahmadu Bello Way Lagos
Books Embassy National Hospital Abuja
Glendora Books Faloma Shopping Centre, Ikoyi Lagos
Quintessence Faloma Shopping Centre, Ikoyi Lagos
British Council Kano 10 Emir Palace Way Kano
Bookworm Ltd Unit 6, Eko Hotel Shopping Complex Lagos
Zamani Bookshop 84 Church Road 064-632 568, 064-979 714, 0803-704-3327 Kano
Educational Resources Suite 221, 411 Plaza, Adetokunbo Ademola Crescent, Wuse II 0805-846-7542, 0806-054-2642 Abuja
World Star Sheraton Hotel, Ladi Kwali Way, Zone 4 Mike Onah, 0803-314-8792 Abuja
Celebrations Store White House, Ademola Adetokunbo Crescent, Wuse II Abuja
Magasin de Variete Le Meridien Hotel, Area 11, Garki 0803-452-2204, 09-234 01865 Abuja
Bookmine Yasuha Plaza, Behind AP Plaza, Adetokunbo Ademola Crescent, Wuse II. Abuja
Rainbow Bookshop 20 Igbodo Street, Old GRA, Port-Harcourt Port-Harcourt