Vagabonds! & Freshwater
Lagos is a city for all . . . you share this place with flesh and not-flesh, and it’s just as much their city as it is yours.
Èkó, the spirit of Lagos, and his loyal minion Tatafo weave trouble through the streets of Lagos and through the lives of the ‘vagabonds’ powering modern Nigeria: the queer, the displaced and the footloose.
With Tatafo as our guide we meet these people in the shadows. Among them are a driver for a debauched politician; a lesbian couple whose tender relationship sheds unexpected light on their experience with underground sex work; a mother who attends a secret spiritual gathering that shifts her reality. As their lives begin to intertwine—in markets and underground clubs, in churches and hotel rooms—the vagabonds are seized and challenged by the spirits who command the city. A force is drawing them all together, but for what purpose?
In her debut novel VAGABONDS! Eloghosa Osunde tackles the insidious nature of Nigerian capitalism, corruption and oppression, and offers a defiant, joyous and inventive tribute to all those for whom life itself is a form of resistance.
Ada has always been unusual. As an infant in southern Nigeria, she is a source of deep concern to her family. Her parents successfully prayed her into existence, but she becomes a troubled child, prone to violent fits of anger and grief, developing separate selves within her. Ada is more than just volatile – she is an ogbanje, born “with one foot on the other side.” When Ada travels to America for college, a traumatic event crystallizes her selves into something more powerful. Based in the author’s realities and narrated by these selves, Freshwater maps how Ada’s life spirals in a dangerous direction as her alters – now protective, now hedonistic – move into control.