Chigozie Obioma was born in 1986 in Akure, Nigeria, and currently lives in the United States. He is an assistant professor of Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His debut novel, The Fishermen, is winner of the inaugural FT/Oppenheimer Award for Fiction, the NAACP Image Awards for Debut Literary Work, and the Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction (Los Angeles Times Book Prizes); and was a finalist for the Man Booker Prize 2015, as well as for several other prizes in the US and UK. Obioma was named one of Foreign Policy's 100 Leading Global Thinkers of 2015.
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 - Observer (Book of the Year 2015) on THE FISHERMENThis year's most promising African newcomer may well prove to be Chigozie Obioma . . . The political implications of The Fishermen are obvious, though never overstated . . . In his exploration of the mysterious and the murderous, of the terrors that can take hold of the human mind, of the colors of life in Africa, with its vibrant fabrics and its trees laden with fruit, and most of all in his ability to create dramatic tension in this most human of African stories, Chigozie Obioma truly is the heir to Chinua Achebe - New York Times Book Review on THE FISHERMENA lyrical retelling of the Cain-and-Abel story in which four Nigerian brothers play truant from school, go fishing and meet a soothsayer who predicts that one brother will kill another. Not yet 30, Chigozie Obioma is a writer to watch - The Economist (Best Books of the Year 2015) on THE FISHERMENIf African literature ever got a book that represented the careful realities of being African without necessarily portraying Africa within the specifics of the western stereotype, it was definitely Chigozie Obioma's The Fishermen - The Afrodiaspora List: The Best African Novels of 2015 on THE FISHERMENChigozie Obioma's debut novel combines reminiscence, recent history and the supernatural, with dazzling results . . . - Observer, Paperback of the Week on THE FISHERMENI just finished reading Chigozie Obioma's astonishing first novel . . . The writing is so crisp, the story so unusual, that I couldn't put the book down even though it disturbed me. It was written to disturb. Four brothers, conceived by their parents to become happy and successful men, become instead harbingers of immense torment and grief. Someone must have observed that it is our children who can break us, when all other systems of oppression have failed. That is part of the tidings of this remarkable, mythic, book - Alice WalkerThis promising debut spins a simple, almost mythological conceit into a heartbreaking elegy to Nigeria's lost promise . . . The book works on many levels. It is, at an obvious level, a Bildungsroman . . . a metaphorical allusion to the struggles of Nigeria's failed leaders...and yet it remains hopeful about the redemptive possibilities of a new generation - Helon Habila, Guardian on THE FISHERMEN