Ohio University Press · Swallow Press ·

The Wolf at Number 4
A Novel

By Ayo Tamakloe-Garr

The Wolf at Number 4 is … a debut novel that, like many of the best debuts, manages to be simultaneously surprising and familiar … [It] manages to present dark material sincerely but also with a great deal of humor. Don’t miss it.”

Bethanne Patrick, Literary Hub

The Wolf at Number 4 brings together … disparate influences, from 19th century Gothic fiction to the plays of Tennessee Williams, to tell the story of an unlikely bond that forms between two people whose paths cross in the city of Cape Coast, Ghana. The resulting narrative takes a host of twists along the way, blending the familiar with the unexpected.”

Vol. 1 Brooklyn

“An eleven-year-old boy genius struggling with the human condition, a controlling father, an alcoholic schoolteacher on the run from her past, and a town that won’t let secrets remain buried. What could possibly go wrong? The Wolf at Number Four is dark, bold, and shocking. I love this book.”

Leye Adenle, author of When Trouble Sleeps

“Tamakloe-Garr is one of a new wave of African authors … deservedly beginning to reach a wider international audience.… The story, a blend of humour and unsettling Gothic darkness, zips along as Desire’s life descends further and further into chaos and there’s a doozy of a twist at the end.”

Still Not Fussed

Desire Mensah, a disgraced schoolteacher in her thirties, sees moving to sleepy little Cape Coast, Ghana, as her chance to get away from a shameful secret not buried deeply enough. And maybe, just maybe, she will find the love she craves and the husband her mother craves for her.

But in Cape Coast, the past isn’t dead. It isn’t even past. That’s the kind of thing Wolfgang “Wolf” Ofori would say. Everyone says the eleven-year-old is a genius—eccentric though he is—and is bound to win Wonderkids, a quiz competition ordinarily for high school students. Wolf and Desire form a strange friendship, even as their mutual understanding both precipitates and reinforces the downfall of each. Before long, their struggles to exist in a world that dehumanizes and then throws the first stone whip up a perfect storm, with deadly consequences.

Debut novelist Ayo Tamakloe-Garr drew inspiration from works such as A Streetcar Named Desire and Frankenstein to create The Wolf at Number 4, a story set in 1990s Ghana. The result is a chilling and funny gothic tale that will disarm readers even as it forces them to confront whether the wolves around us are born or made.

Ayo Tamakloe-Garr was born in Accra to a Nigerian father and Ghanaian mother. His short stories have been published on the Flash Fiction Ghana and Writers Project Ghana blogs. The Wolf at Number 4 is his first novel.   More info →


Excerpt: Prologue and Chapters 1–2


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Retail price: $25.95, T.
Release date: December 2018
180 pages · 5½ × 8½ in.
Rights:  World

Retail price: $36.95, S.
Release date: December 2018
180 pages · 5½ × 8½ in.
Rights:  World

Release date: December 2018
180 pages
Rights:  World

Additional Praise for The Wolf at Number 4

“Fast-paced and with unexpected twists, The Wolf at Number Four throws together an unusual cast, led by an English teacher with a disturbing past looking for a fresh start but starting off on the wrong foot, and a precocious eleven-year-old on the cusp of winning a prestigious national competition. Right from the arrival of Desire, the quiet neighborhood is steadily rocked by greater and greater waves as the events rise to a gripping, inevitable, crescendo.”

Martin Egblewogbe, author of Mister Happy and the Hammer of God and Other Stories

Praise for previous books in the Modern African Writing series:
“Poignant, thrilling, and funny.…Nwokolo manages to brilliantly distill his branching plot into a singular portrayal of a threatened culture.”

Publishers Weekly (starred review of Chuma Nwokolo’s The Exctinction of Menai)

Praise for previous books in the Modern African Writing series:
“A fresh and moving account of contemporary Zimbabwe.”

The New York Times Book Review (for Tendai Huchu’s The Hairdresser of Harare)

Praise for previous books in the Modern African Writing series:
“The collected stories structure recalls David Mitchell's Ghostwritten, or Jennifer Egan’s A Visit From the Goon Squad.…A layered, multifaceted narrative.”

Publishers Weekly, for Imraan Coovadia’s Tales of the Metric System

Praise for previous books in the Modern African Writing series:
“A revelatory work as tough, humane, and unsentimental as its heroines.”

More (for Chika Unigwe’s On Black Sisters Street)

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