God's Children Are Little Broken Things

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Audiobook Downloadable / ISBN-13: 9781399606295

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These nine stories of queer male intimacy brim with simmering secrecy, ecstasy, loneliness and love in their depictions of what it means to be gay in contemporary Nigeria.

A man revisits the university campus where he lost his first love, aware now of what he couldn’t understand then. A daughter returns home to Lagos after the death of her father, where she must face her past – and future – relationship with his longtime partner. A young musician rises to fame at the risk of losing himself, and the man who loves him.

Generations collide, families break and are remade and lovers find their ways to futures – from childhood through adulthood; on university campuses, city centres and neighbourhoods where church bells mingle with the morning call to prayer.


Reading these stories kept me from my life and responsibilities, the book making demands of me the way only spectacular art can. Arinze Ifeakandu is a genuinely brilliant mind and voice.
Sarah Thankam Mathews, author of ALL OF THIS COULD BE DIFFERENT
Arinze Ifeakandu captures the tenderness and tumult of queer love, familial love, self-love, and the many ways love elates and eludes us. Written with compelling intricacy and deep intimacy, these heart-grabbing stories are masterful. What a glorious collection!
These stories are written with raw, tender grace. They dramatize what love is like in a time when love is under siege. They are brilliant when they explore intimate moments and are superb as they render with complexity and nuance the relations between characters. It is clear from this book that a serious literary talent has emerged.
Colm Tóibín, author of THE MAGICIAN
An exquisite, complex examination of the vulnerabilities of queer love and desire amid family fears, dreams, and the power of expectations, God's Children Are Little Broken Things is a shimmering, beguiling debut.
Asako Serizawa, author of INHERITORS
Ifeakandu proves himself the kind of writer who can catch you off balance with sudden, lucid slants of feeling ... these angry and compassionate stories are full of such moments, when an oppressive system is brought into dreadful focus through the lends of private suffering
Times Literary Supplement
Magic in motion. My love for this work isn't just about the lush tenderness of the writing-which is abundant here-but also about the book's internal circuitry. This book knows what it's doing, where its electricities need to pass through for maximum impact, knows who it is for and who it certainly doesn't answer to, and is its own self-contained habitat. God's Children Are Little Broken Things remains subtle and measured even through massive emotional transitions, carrying the reader the whole way through. Arinze writes like a composer or an orchestral director, bringing notes together to form a staggering, heartshattering show.
Eloghosa Osunde, author of VAGABONDS!
These are brilliant stories: heartbroken but pulsing with life, wise but never cynical, and soaked in an atmosphere so convincing it's like being inside a great album. The prose alone is worth the price of the ticket, as lush as it is exact, but through it comes whole worlds of longing and travail, youth and aging, queer love expressed in so many of its facets. Arinze Ifeakandu is a major talent, and God's Children Are Little Broken Things is a seriously good book.
Adam Haslett, author of IMAGINE ME GONE
In these gorgeous stories, Ifeakandu takes on big, untidy emotions - love, loneliness, yearning, grief - and writes about them with extraordinary deftness and grace. This is a hugely impressive collection, full of subtlety, wisdom and heart.
Sarah Waters, author of FINGERSMITH
This collection is the very meaning of exquisite; even the heartbreaking moments come with the great beauty of being alive. Delicate, raw in its honesty and viscerally alive, God's Children Are Little Broken Things, is the kind of collection that steals your breath and fills your heart.
Xochitl Gonzalez, author of OLGA DIES DREAMING
Passionate, profound and pulsing with life, this is a remarkable debut
Eithne Farry, Daily Mail
A beautiful, significant debut. Although he writes about queer lives and loves in Nigeria, Arinze Ifeakandu's voice is sensually alert to the human and universal in every situation. These quietly transgressive stories are the work of a brilliant new talent.
Damon Galgut, Booker Prize winner for THE PROMISE
Contemporary love stories with moments of real surprise and revelation.
Brandon Taylor, author of REAL LIFE
These stories are wonderful - searching, unsparing, and contemplative. Each carries the freight of love, suffering, memory, and politics. Each is so finely and sensually drawn the reader lives them. Together, they are quite simply a tour de force.
Sarah Hall, author of BURNTCOAT
Each story is an exquisite plunge into tenderness. Brutal at times, unforgiving at others but always a moment from which to stand back and reflect. The writing is intimate: with immense skill Arinze Ifeakandu takes you by the hand - and in allowing him to do so you feel your own heart beat that little bit faster.
Melody Razak, author of MOTH
These are heartbreaking stories of love and loss, as granular and nourishing as the harmattan, the cold winter wind that blows out of the Sahara. Ifeakandu is a writer of lyricism and profundity at the beginning of a brilliant career.
Edmund White, author of A PREVIOUS LIFE