The Liquid Eye of a Moon

A Novel

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9781646221905 | Hardcover 5-1/2 x 8-1/4 | 352 pages Buy it Now

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Book Description

A Nigerian Catcher in the Rye, Uchenna Awoke’s masterful debut breaks the silence about a hidden and dangerous contemporary caste system

Fifteen-year-old Dimkpa dreams of the day his father will be made village head. He will return to school and maybe even go on to university; his mother will no longer have to break her back foraging wild food to sell at market; they will have the money to build a fine tomb for his aunt Okike; and his family’s status as ohu ma, the lowest Igbo caste, won’t matter anymore. But when his father is passed over for a younger man, breaking tradition, Dimkpa realizes that he must make his own fate.

Journeying from his small village in rural Nigeria, to Lagos, Awka, and home again, Dimkpa learns that no money is easy money, that superstition runs deep, that knowledge is power, and that sometimes it is better to live in the present than to always be chasing a future just out of reach.

The Liquid Eye of a Moon is by turns hilarious and poignant, capturing all the messiness of adolescence, and the difficulty of making your own way in a world that seeks to oppress you.

About the Author

Praise For This Book

Amazon, A Best Book of the Month
Debutiful, A Noteworthy Debut of June
Brittle Paper, A Most Anticipated Title
Literary Hub, A Most Anticipated Title

"Awoke’s writing is impressive; his metaphors are refreshing and vivid . . . A writer of great promise." —Martha Anne Toll, NPR

“Awoke merges a folklorist tale with a strong, contemporary eye. It’s a striking story of destiny, hope and self-realization . . . A modern classic, sure to thrill fans of Chinua Achebe and Chigozie Obioma.” —Nelson C.J., OkayAfrica

"A memorable coming-of-age . . . Awoke’s prose dances on the page. It’s a truly brilliant exploration of adolescence." —Adam Vitcavage, Debutiful

"Deeply committed to class and the clash of tradition with modernity, The Liquid Eye of a Moon is a [...] stoic coming of age story without any of Holden Caulfield’s phony fussing." —Literary Hub

"Uchenna Awoke’s debut novel is compulsory reading for fans of Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi and Imbolo Mbue . . . Awoke’s style is reminiscent of Chinua Achebe’s, drawing on oral storytelling traditions and embodying the Nigerian proverbial style of speech. Yet it also has notes of Homer’s Odyssey, introducing a deity whose whims and offenses lead to tragic results for the mortals who interfere. Awoke explores a part of Nigerian culture and tradition not often examined in literature by questioning an ancient and harmful caste system, and the result is a novel that is gripping and unforgettable." —Booklist

"Awoke's debut novel . . . has a sturdy spine in Dimkpa, who piles up psychic and physical scars throughout his travels as he realizes that to be loyal to any one tribe is to be complicit in factionalism and violence . . . [A]dmirably ambitious." —Kirkus Reviews

"[A] memorable debut . . . Keenly narrated by Dimkpa, the tale is shot through with Nigerian history and insights into the ways in which political and societal oppression stymie his attempts to get ahead. This artful story of resilience is tough to shake." —Publishers Weekly

"A masterful debut that takes us into the ancient beliefs and present complexities of Nigeria, told through the ordinary human failings of a young man you can’t help but root for." —Santanu Bhattacharya, author of One Small Voice

"In The Liquid Eye of a Moon, Uchenna Awoke intricately intertwines memory, loss, and resilience against the backdrop of adolescence, capturing the essence of village and city life. With vivid portrayals of familial dynamics and societal upheavals, the narrative delicately navigates the community's journey to reconcile its past with present obstacles, portraying Nigerians' multifaceted realities." —Nnamdi Ehirim, author of Prince of Monkeys

"Like the great Igbo writer Chinua Achebe before him, Uchenna Awoke has given us a stunning debut novel in The Liquid Eye of a Moon. Magic is the word that best describes this book. The magic and madness of felt life for a young person seeking a place in a senseless world. And the magic of literary prose in the hands of a master. If there is justice in the world, this brilliant novel will change the literary landscape." —Jeffery Renard Allen, author of Fat Time and Other Stories and Song of the Shank

“A wonderful debut. The Liquid Eye of a Moon is funny and moving in equal measure. A coming of age story that readers won’t forget.” —Dipo Faloyin, author of Africa is Not a Country

"After reading only the first paragraph of The Liquid Eye of a Moon, I knew this story was special. Awoke's prose is immersive and alive, and you sink into it without effort. I had to blink a few times whenever I stopped reading, and I always looked forward to sinking back in. A beautiful coming-of-age story I will not forget." —Mary Adkins, author of Palm Beach

"In The Liquid Eye of a Moon, Uchenna Awoke casts a spell that is at once enchanting and haunting. An important story full of love and wonder, family and culture, strife and tribulation—this is not your typical debut novel. You are in the hands of a masterful storyteller, one whose grace and lyricism will win you over and then burrow deep inside the muck and marrow of your soul where it will remain for a long time." —Robert Lopez, author of Dispatches From Puerto Nowhere