Chukwuebuka Ibeh — Blessings - with Tayla Burney — at Union Market

Upcoming Event
Wednesday, June 12, 2024 - 7:00pm
This event is in partnership with the Washington Literacy Center.

Obiefuna has always been the black sheep of his family--sensitive where his father, Anozie, is pragmatic, a dancer where his brother, Ekene, is a natural athlete. But when Obiefuna's father witnesses an intimate moment between his teenage son and another boy, his deepest fears are confirmed, and Obiefuna is banished to boarding school.

As he navigates his new school's strict hierarchy and unpredictable violence, Obiefuna both finds and hides who he truly is. Back home, his mother, Uzoamaka, must contend with the absence of her beloved son, her husband's cryptic reasons for sending him away, and the hard truths that they've all been hiding from. As Nigeria teeters on the brink of criminalizing same-sex relationships, Obiefuna's identity becomes more dangerous than ever before, and the life he wants drifts further out of reach.

Set in post-military Nigeria and culminating in the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act of 2013, Blessings is an elegant and exquisitely moving story that asks how to live freely in a country that forbids one's truest self, and what it takes for love to flourish despite it all.

Chukwuebuka Ibeh is a writer from Port Harcourt, Nigeria, born in 2000. His writing has appeared in McSweeneys, New England Review of Books and Lolwe, amongst others, and he is a staff writer at Brittle Paper. He was the runner-up for the 2021 J.F. Powers Prize for Fiction, was a finalist for the Gerald Kraak Award, and was profiled as one of the "Most Promising New Voices of Nigerian Fiction" by Electric Literature. He has studied creative writing under Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Dave Eggers, and Tash Aw, and is currently a an MFA student at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

Ibeh will be in conversation with Tayla Burney.  Burney is a long-time public radio producer who worked for years on author interviews and book events. Now on the Programming team at NPR, she helped launch - and still occasionally guest edits - the Book of the Day podcast. Tayla's writing and reviews have appeared in the Washington Independent Review of Books and the Washington Post, among other publications. She is currently debating whether or not to bring back her bookish newsletter and hopes you spend all of your book dollars at local indies and have at least two library cards to your name.

This event is free with first come, first serve seating.

1324 4th St NE
Washington, DC 20002
Union Market
Fiction & Poetry
Blessings: A Novel By Chukwuebuka Ibeh Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385550642
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Doubleday - June 4th, 2024