VAGABONDS! is a tumultuous and unexpectedly joyous novel of oppression and defiance among the people and spirits of Lagos.
‘You don’t read this novel. You swan dive into it, then gasp in wonder’ Marlon James, author of A Brief History of Seven Killings
‘Electrifying. A fierce, compulsively engaging and striking debut’ Irenosen Okojie, author of Nudibranch
Lagos is a city for all . . . you share this place with flesh and not-flesh, and it’s just as much their city as it is yours.
Èkó, the spirit of Lagos, and his loyal minion Tatafo weave trouble through the streets of Lagos and through the lives of the ‘vagabonds’ powering modern Nigeria: the queer, the displaced and the footloose.
With Tatafo as our guide we meet these people in the shadows. Among them are a driver for a debauched politician; a lesbian couple whose tender relationship sheds unexpected light on their experience with underground sex work; a mother who attends a secret spiritual gathering that shifts her reality. As their lives begin to intertwine—in markets and underground clubs, in churches and hotel rooms—the vagabonds are seized and challenged by the spirits who command the city. A force is drawing them all together, but for what purpose?
In her debut novel VAGABONDS! Eloghosa Osunde tackles the insidious nature of Nigerian capitalism, corruption and oppression, and offers a defiant, joyous and inventive tribute to all those for whom life itself is a form of resistance.
‘Every year promises the birth of the next literary superstar… and 2022 is no different. Coming with early acclaim from Marlon James, Eloghosa Osunde’s VAGABONDS! is an exceptional debut, taking on queerness, capitalism and the societal vagabonds of Lagos’ streets’ i-D