Chigozie Obioma was born in 1986 in Akure, Nigeria, and currently lives in the United States. He graduated from the University of Michigan with an MFA in Creative Writing, and is now an assistant professor of Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Obioma is the winner of the 2015 FT/Oppenheimer Funds Emerging Voices Award. The Fishermen is his first novel.
It's like being in a Zola or Theodore Dreiser novel... The Fishermen is an elegy to lost promise [...] and yet it remains hopeful about the redemptive possibilities of a new generation Guardian Obioma's beautiful, quasi-biblical allegory-like debut The Fishermen...is set to be one of the novels of the year -- Eileen Battersby Irish Times A passionate, jostling and flamboyant piece of work Daily Telegraph A mighty fry-up of pop culture, fable and verbal invention New Statesman A striking, controlled and masterfully taut debut...The tale has a timeless quality that renders it almost allegorical and it is the more powerful for it FT Full of deceptive simplicity, lyrical language and playful Igbo mythology and humour...an impressive and beautifully imagined work Economist There is much to recommend in this debut, not least the insights into Nigerian culture and history...The novel excels in its depiction of the tribal landscape and the townspeople Irish Times Suffused with an air of legend and the supernatural...The Fishermen establishes Obioma as a writer to be taken seriously...ingenious, subtle, ambitious and intriguing TLS Reveals Nigeria's historical, political and cultural complexity Big Issue A debut that is packed with power and tragedy Shortlist A novel with an intimate canvas but also an undercurrent of something larger, more primal We Love This Book Terrific Irish Examiner A startling debut...auspicious...leaps off the pages -- Mariella Frostrup Open Book Nowhere is the mythic quality of The Fishermen felt more than in its...vivid images, often drawn from the natural world, through which its narrator recalls his childhood -- Lorien Kite Financial Times Mythic... a truly magnificent debut -- Eleanor Catton, author of 'The Luminaries' Obioma's remarkable fiction is at once urgently, vividly immediate, yet simultaneously charged with the elemental power of myth -- Peter Ho Davies Hardly anyone writing today is delivering this level of intricacy, lyricism and control... it just doesn't get better than this -- Alexandra Fuller, author of 'Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight' Formidably articulate... [Obioma[ has it in him to become one of the best writers of the upcoming crop of young African authors -- Nurrudin Farrah, award-winning author of the 'Blood in the Sun' trilogy An exciting new voice in African literary fiction...astonishingly vivid...beautifully written...read it slowly, savour the writing, enjoy Bookbag Skilfully building the atmosphere from light and innocent to ominous and mysterious, gradually becoming claustrophobic and ultimately tragic...engrossing Curious Animal Magazine, Book of the Month [A] strange, imaginative debut...A convincing modern narrative and [...] a majestic reimagining of timeless folklore Publishers Weekly (starred review) [A] lively, energetic debut novel...the talented Obioma exhibits a richly nuanced understanding of culture and character. A powerful, haunting tale of grief, healing, and sibling loyalty Kirkus [An] elegantly near-mythic debut novel..a deeply personal story that mirrors the larger social and political tensions in Africa...All fiction readers will enjoy Library Journal This book is astonishing...The writing is perfectly tuned, lyrical in places and bracing in others BookRiot An entrancing modern-day legend...Mr. Obioma's long-limbed and elegant writing is shot through with strikingly elevated phrasings...rich with ancient themes of filial love, fratricide, vengeance and fate...its power is unmistakable Wall Street Journal Storytelling at its most captivating...The Fishermen is a must-read Brittle Paper Chigozie Obioma truly is the heir to Chinua Achebe The New York Times Darkly mythic...a kind of African Cormac McCarthy, committed to a stark vision of life in which our pretensions to civilisation are forever held up and exposed as skin deep USA Today [A] confident debut novel... frank and lyrical New Yorker Obioma brings terrific authorial dexterity to the family's story and its small place in Nigeria, and evokes a worldview which brings with it a terrible tragedy. This is the best novel I have read so far this year, and that, I can assure you, is saying plenty. -- Kathrine A. Powers Christian Science Monitor Outstanding... sits finely balanced on the cusp between myth and reality Intelligent Life The Fishermen is compelling stuff, acute and remorseless Literary Review This passionate and ingenious debut about fear, distrust and unraveling family bonds reads like a dark fable and is rich with gut-twisting suspense and vivid imagery Star Tribune Brimming with life and buzzing with emotion Nick Barley, director Edinburgh International Book Festival Chigozie Obioma's first novel, laced Greek tragedy and African folklore into a withering allegory of contemporary Nigeria. The best debut of the year by some distance -- Alex Preston Observer, Books of the Year