After a 20-year publishing hiatus, Gayl Jones is back with a heady historical fiction

After publishing to great acclaim in the 1980s and 1990s, Gayl Jones disappeared from the public eye. Somewhere in the last few pages of this brutal historical fiction that has been half a century in the making, our protagonist—the observational Almeyda—asks “how can one write such a history and live through it at the same time?”. A fragmented narrative of slavery and survival set in 17th century colonial Brazil, Palmares begs the same question.

“I am not a planner”: A conversation with Chibundu Onuzo

On a sweltering and slow Monday morning in mid-June, I had the privilege of chatting to the fresh-faced Chibundu Onuzo over Zoom a few days after the publication of her third novel, Sankofa (out last week with Virago). We talked about her relationship to writing as a profession, what it's like for a non-planner to fashion a novel out of a PhD, and how Sankofa relates to the cultural coordinates that orient it in modern-day Ghana.

Chibundu Onuzo’s third novel, Sankofa, comes at the right time

Following The Spider King's Daughter and Welcome to Lagos, Sankofa marks a departure from Lagosian life and tells the story of a mixed-race British woman's search for her long-lost West African father. Onuzo does a spectacular job of grabbing the reader and pacing the narrative, blending together the readability of mystery with the emotional depth of literary fiction to create a story that is truly unique in more ways than one.