By Chika Unigwe
“Boiling with a sly, generous humor … On Black Sisters Street marks the arrival of a latter-day Thackeray, an Afro-Belgian writer who probes with passion, grace and comic verve the underbelly of our globalized new world economy.”
New York Times Book Review
“Unigwe’s gripping tale chronicles the lives of four African women working as prostitutes in Antwerp’s red-light district.… As Unigwe tells her characters’ stories in interweaving narratives and time lines, the women embody depths of fear and displacement, as well as the will to survive and prosper.”
“This spellbinding novel … combines a storyteller’s narrative flair with a reporter’s eye for grim, gritty details about the sex industry.… Unigwe crafts her characters’ voices with crystalline prose and compassion, in a revelatory work as tough, humane and unsentimental as its heroines.”
Caryn James, More Magazine
“In her English-language debut, the Nigerian-born Unigwe convincingly exposes an unfamiliar world without sentimentality.”
On Black Sisters Street tells the haunting story of four very different women who have left their African homeland for the riches of Europe—and who are thrown together by bad luck and big dreams into a sisterhood that will change their lives. Each night, Sisi, Ama, Efe, and Joyce stand in the windows of Antwerp’s red-light district, promising to make men’s desires come true—if only for half an hour. They offer their bodies to strangers but their hearts to no one, each focused on earning enough to get herself free, to send money home, or to save up for her own future. Drawn together by Sisi’s murder, the women must choose between their secrets and their safety. This first paperback edition of On Black Sisters Street celebrates the U.S. publication debut of Chika Unigwe, a brilliant new writer and a standout voice among contemporary African authors.
Chika Unigwe was born in Nigeria and now lives in Belgium with her husband and four children. She was a 2008 UNESCO-Aschberg fellow and a 2009 Rockefeller Foundation fellow. She holds a PhD from the University of Leiden. She is the recipient of several awards for her writing, including the 2012 Nigerian Prize for Literature for On Black Sisters Street, and first prize in the 2003 BBC Short Story Competition. In 2004 she was shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing. Her first novel, De Feniks, was published in Dutch in 2005. More info →
Save 20% ($17.56)
US and Canada only
Permission to reprint
Permission to photocopy or include in a course pack via Copyright Clearance Center
Bafana Kuzwayo is a young man with a weight on his shoulders. After flunking his law studies at the University of Cape Town, he returns home to Soweto, where he must decide how to break the news to his family. But before he can confess, he is greeted as a hero by family and friends. His uncle calls him “Advo,” short for Advocate, and his mother wastes no time recruiting him to solve their legal problems.
Dog Eat Dog is a remarkable record of being young in a nation undergoing tremendous turmoil, and provides a glimpse into South Africa’s pivotal kwaito (South African hip-hop) generation and life in Soweto. Set in 1994, just as South Africa is making its postapartheid transition, Dog Eat Dog captures the hopes—and crushing disappointments—that characterize such moments in a nation’s history.Raucous
Welcome to Our Hillbrow is an exhilarating and disturbingride through the chaotic and hyper-real zone of Hillbrow—microcosm of all that is contradictory, alluring, and painful in the postapartheid South African psyche.
Eloquent and thought-provoking, this classic novel by the Eritrean novelist Gebreyesus Hailu, written in Tigrinya in 1927 and published in 1950, is one of the earliest novels written in an African language and will have a major impact on the reception and critical appraisal of African literature.
Sign up to be notified when new African Literature titles come out.
We will only use your email address to notify you of new titles in the subject area(s) you follow. We will never share your information with third parties.