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Lagos Noir (Nigeria)

Edited by:

West Africa enters the Noir Series arena, meticulously edited by one of Nigeria’s best-known authors.

$15.95 $11.96

What people are saying…

“This anthology stands out because of its unique approach to crime and punishment, and its intense focus on the sociological aspects of crime in one of the world’s largest, fastest growing and most complex regions. Lagos Noir is a must-read for crime lovers looking for something different to read in a highly saturated market.”
Brittle Paper

“Lagos, the largest city in Nigeria, with a population of 21 million, has, like many coastal cities, a ‘very checkered and noir past,’ writes novelist Chris Abani in his introduction to this anthology.”
BBC Culture, Included in 10 Books to Read in June

“The beauty of this book, which contains 13 stories from Nigerian writers, is that it serves as a travelogue, too.”
Bloomberg, Included in The Darkest Summer Reading List for Those Bright, Beachy Days

“Many stories have been written about the continent’s largest megacity Lagos, but let’s be honest—you can never have enough stories about Lagos.”
OkayAfrica, Included in 5 Books by African Writers You Need to Read This Summer

“This volume is a must, as it introduces new writers of considerable talent and new works by writers you may have read and enjoyed previously . . . If you just like good stories about ordinary people with an extraordinary twist, this collection should not be missed.”
New York Journal of Books

“In the introduction to this excellent anthology, Abani welcomes readers to Lagos, Nigeria, a city of more than 21 million and an amazing amalgam of wealth, poverty, corruption, humor, bravery, and tragedy. Abani and a dozen other contributors tell stories that are both unique to Lagos and universal in their humanity . . . This entry stands as one of the strongest recent additions to Akashic’s popular noir series.”
Publishers Weekly, STARRED Review, Pick of the Week

“The African megalopolis of Lagos, Nigeria, makes a perfect setting for mystery stories with a noir bent . . . With its breadth of contributors, this latest volume in the publisher’s city noir series will satisfy both the fan of contemporary African fiction and the newcomer interested in discovering some new voices.”
Library Journal

“The collection of 13 stories Abani has put together brings Lagos, largest city and former capital of Nigeria and one of the largest cities in Africa, to life . . . This may not be the book the Nigerian tourist industry wants you to read as an inducement to come visit their country, but it sure is a lot of fun to read. Each of the writers brings their own little piece of Lagos to life with such vividness you can almost hear the rats stirring in the garbage and feel the layers of humidity and heat weighing on your skin.”

“A not-to-be-missed fiction anthology edited by Chris Abani, Lagos Noir features Nigeria’s most compelling writers on the darker side of Lagos. A must-read for literary fans of all kinds.”
The Root

“Noir comes to Africa . . . [Don’t] think for a minute that Lagos has a corner on African noir. Akashic has Addis Ababa, Nairobi, Accra, and Marrakech waiting in the wings.”
Kirkus Reviews


Akashic Books continues its award-winning series of original noir anthologies, launched in 2004 with Brooklyn Noir. Each book comprises all new stories, each one set in a distinct neighborhood or location within the respective city. Now, West Africa enters the Noir Series arena, meticulously edited by one of Nigeria’s best-known authors.

Brand-new stories by: Chris Abani, Nnedi Okorafor, E.C. Osondu, Jude Dibia, Chika Unigwe, A. Igoni Barrett, Sarah Ladipo Manyika, Adebola Rayo, Onyinye Ihezukwu, Uche Okonkwo, Wale Lawal, ‘Pemi Aguda, and Leye Adenle.

From the introduction by Chris Abani:

Lagos has, like many coastal cities, a very checkered and noir past. It is the largest city in Nigeria and its former capital. It is also the largest megacity on the African continent, with a population approximating twenty-one million, and by itself is the fourth-largest economy in Africa . . . It is rumored that there are more canals in Lagos than in Venice. Except in Lagos they are often unintentional. Gutters that have become waterways and lagoons fenced in by stilt homes or full of logs for a timber industry most of us don’t know exists. All of it skated by canoes as slick as any dragonfly. There are currently no moonlight or other gondola rides available . . .

The thirteen stories that comprise this volume stretch the boundaries of “noir” fiction, but each one of them fully captures the essence of noir, the unsettled darkness that continues to lurk in the city’s streets, alleys, and waterways . . . Together, these stories create an unchartered path through the center of Lagos and out to its peripheries, revealing so much more truth at the heart of this tremendous city than any guidebook, TV show, film, or book you are likely to find.

Read Chris Abani’s full introduction to Lagos Noir at CrimeReads

Read a preview of Lagos Noir at Brittle Paper.

Book Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Published: 6/5/18
  • IBSN: 9781617755231
  • e-IBSN: 9781617756481


CHRIS ABANI, a Nigerian-born, award-winning poet and novelist, currently teaches at Northwestern University in Chicago. He is the recipient of a PEN USA Freedom-to-Write Award, a Prince Claus Award, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, a California Book Award, a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, a PEN Beyond Margins Award, a PEN/Hemingway Award, and a Guggenheim Award. He is the coeditor of New-Generation African Poets: A Chapbook Box Set (Tano) and editor of Lagos Noir.

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