Canongate has acquired a “haunting Kafkaesque narrative” from a debut Nigerian novelist.
Louisa Joyner, editorial director of fiction at Canongate, bought Odafe Atogun’s Taduno’s Song and one other novel from Toby Mundy at Toby Mundy Associates.
The novel follows African singer Taduno, who returns from political exile to the country of his birth to find that the dictatorship's efforts to erase all trace of him have been so successful that he has been entirely forgotten, even by his closest friends and neighbours.
But one man remembers: the country's dictator. And upon his return home Taduno discovers its leader has imprisoned the woman he loves and will murder her unless he performs in support of the regime. Taduno must make an impossible choice: fight the power or save the woman he loves. Taduno’s Song is a story of “sacrifice, love and redemption, from an utterly fresh new literary voice”.
Joyner said: “Taduno’s Song is a story of one man and a community of people who have chosen to forget him. I realise I’ve become one of those people. I had forgotten that novels written and shared can make me want to determine the course of political events. They can make me want to save people. Odafe Atogun sincerely believes this and it’s his sincerity I’m humbled to be publishing. I won’t forget again.”
Canongate will publish Taduno’s Song in trade paperback in summer 2016.