Cassava Republic acquires Omotoso's 'bold, unflinching' tale

Cassava Republic acquires Omotoso's 'bold, unflinching' tale

Cassava Republic Press has acquired An Unusual Grief, Yewande Omotoso's third novel. 

The publisher acquired English and Commonwealth rights from Elise Dillsworth at the Elise Dillsworth Agency. The novel will be published as a lead title for Cassava in autumn 2021. 

In An Unusual Grief, Omotoso will shine a light on and dismantle taboos around motherhood, death, sanity and sexuality, challenge readers expectations of middle-aged womanhood and provide a "refreshingly honest" portrait of grief, says the publisher. 

The synopsis reads: "This bold, unflinching tale of loss and recovery asks the question, how do you get to know your daughter when she is dead? When her estranged daughter Yinka dies suddenly, Mojisola is finally forced to stop running away from the difficulties in their relationship and in her own marriage. Her grief becomes a journey of self-discovery (and sexual awakening), as Mojisola learns to carve a place for herself in the world beyond the labels of wife and mother."

Publishing director Bibi Bakare-Yusuf said: "I have long admired Yewande Omotoso’s vivid and unique writing, and am thrilled to have acquired her latest book. An Unusual Grief skilfully tackles powerful and intimate issues including the irrationality of grief, the tensions of mother-daughter relationships, and the particular concerns of middle-aged womanhood and eroticism with a disarming lightness, drawing you in through characters that leap off the page."

Omotoso’s debut novel Bom Boy (Catalyst Books, 2019) was shortlisted for the 2012 Sunday Times Fiction Prize in South Africa. Her second novel, Woman Next Door (Vintage, 2017) was long-listed for the 2017 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction and has been optioned for film by Rififi Pictures.