The Road to the Country

A Novel

Hardcover
$29.00 US
| $39.00 CAN
On sale Jun 04, 2024 | 384 Pages | 978-0-593-59697-5
| Grades 9-12 + AP/IB
A sweeping, heart-racing, mystical novel about a university student in Lagos trying to save his brother, and himself, amid the chaos of Nigeria’s civil war—a story of love, friendship, and personal triumph by the two-time Booker Prize finalist and "the heir to Chinua Achebe" (New York Times)

“Chigozie Obioma is that rare thing: an original. His world is a mix of the real and the folkloric, and his writing sounds like no one else’s.”—The Wall Street Journal


The first images of the vision are grainy—like something seen through wet glass. But slowly it clears, and there appears the figure of a man.

Set in Nigeria in the late 1960s, The Road to the Country is the epic story of a shy, bookish student haunted by long-held guilt who must go to war to free himself. When his younger brother disappears as the country explodes in civil war, Kunle must set out on an impossible rescue mission. Kunle’s search for his brother becomes a journey of atonement that will see him conscripted into the breakaway Biafran army and forced to fight a war he hardly understands, all while navigating the prophecies of a local Seer, he who marks Kunle as an abami eda—one who will die and return to life.

The story of a young man seeking redemption in a country on fire, Chigozie Obioma’s novel is an odyssey of love and unimaginable courage set during one of the most devastating conflicts in the history of the African continent. Intertwining myth and realism into a thrilling, inspired, and emotionally powerful novel, The Road to the Country is Chigozie Obioma’s masterpiece.
“A spectacular blend of realism and mysticism, The Road to the Country is Chigozie Obioma at his finest. He is a novelist in a league of his own.”—Imbolo Mbue, New York Times bestselling author of Behold the Dreamers

“This powerfully evocative and intimate book is unarguably Obioma’s finest. Through subtle, piercing, and gripping language, he renders those seemingly simple but unforgettable moments when our lives intertwine with history, anchoring you to the pages until the end. The Road to the Country will remind you that our existence is the histories of past, present, and the future—and the importance of understanding that. This is among the best books I’ve read in a while and is certainly destined to be a classic.”—Ishmael Beah, #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Long Way Gone
 
“Chigozie Obioma has proven his mastery of craft in this sweeping, brilliant, and stunning novel. The Road to the Country is an eloquent, beautifully rendered study on time and place and the history that changed a nation. His is a gorgeous prose, and the storytelling one expects from a gifted writer. . . . A truly unforgettable read.”—Nicole Dennis-Benn, award-winning author of Here Comes the Sun and Patsy
 
“Chigozie Obioma brings the Biafran War to life in a visceral yet mystical way. Loss, pain, and grief are etched onto a canvas that seems timeless and endless. I grieve for those lost in that doomed declaration of independence but celebrate those, such as Chigozie, who carry their torches.”—Nadifa Mohamed, author The Fortune Men, finalist for the Booker Prize
© Nikki Moore
Chigozie Obioma was born in Akure, Nigeria. His two previous novels, The Fishermen and An Orchestra of Minorities, were both finalist for the Booker Prize. His novels have won the inaugural FT/OppenheimerFunds Emerging Voices Award for Fiction, the NAACP Image Award, and the Los Angeles Times Award for First Fiction and have been nominated for many others. Together, they have been translated into thirty languages. He was named one of Foreign Policy’s 100 Leading Global Thinkers. He is a professor of creative writing at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and divides his time between the United States and Nigeria. View titles by Chigozie Obioma

About

A sweeping, heart-racing, mystical novel about a university student in Lagos trying to save his brother, and himself, amid the chaos of Nigeria’s civil war—a story of love, friendship, and personal triumph by the two-time Booker Prize finalist and "the heir to Chinua Achebe" (New York Times)

“Chigozie Obioma is that rare thing: an original. His world is a mix of the real and the folkloric, and his writing sounds like no one else’s.”—The Wall Street Journal


The first images of the vision are grainy—like something seen through wet glass. But slowly it clears, and there appears the figure of a man.

Set in Nigeria in the late 1960s, The Road to the Country is the epic story of a shy, bookish student haunted by long-held guilt who must go to war to free himself. When his younger brother disappears as the country explodes in civil war, Kunle must set out on an impossible rescue mission. Kunle’s search for his brother becomes a journey of atonement that will see him conscripted into the breakaway Biafran army and forced to fight a war he hardly understands, all while navigating the prophecies of a local Seer, he who marks Kunle as an abami eda—one who will die and return to life.

The story of a young man seeking redemption in a country on fire, Chigozie Obioma’s novel is an odyssey of love and unimaginable courage set during one of the most devastating conflicts in the history of the African continent. Intertwining myth and realism into a thrilling, inspired, and emotionally powerful novel, The Road to the Country is Chigozie Obioma’s masterpiece.

Reviews

“A spectacular blend of realism and mysticism, The Road to the Country is Chigozie Obioma at his finest. He is a novelist in a league of his own.”—Imbolo Mbue, New York Times bestselling author of Behold the Dreamers

“This powerfully evocative and intimate book is unarguably Obioma’s finest. Through subtle, piercing, and gripping language, he renders those seemingly simple but unforgettable moments when our lives intertwine with history, anchoring you to the pages until the end. The Road to the Country will remind you that our existence is the histories of past, present, and the future—and the importance of understanding that. This is among the best books I’ve read in a while and is certainly destined to be a classic.”—Ishmael Beah, #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Long Way Gone
 
“Chigozie Obioma has proven his mastery of craft in this sweeping, brilliant, and stunning novel. The Road to the Country is an eloquent, beautifully rendered study on time and place and the history that changed a nation. His is a gorgeous prose, and the storytelling one expects from a gifted writer. . . . A truly unforgettable read.”—Nicole Dennis-Benn, award-winning author of Here Comes the Sun and Patsy
 
“Chigozie Obioma brings the Biafran War to life in a visceral yet mystical way. Loss, pain, and grief are etched onto a canvas that seems timeless and endless. I grieve for those lost in that doomed declaration of independence but celebrate those, such as Chigozie, who carry their torches.”—Nadifa Mohamed, author The Fortune Men, finalist for the Booker Prize

Author

© Nikki Moore
Chigozie Obioma was born in Akure, Nigeria. His two previous novels, The Fishermen and An Orchestra of Minorities, were both finalist for the Booker Prize. His novels have won the inaugural FT/OppenheimerFunds Emerging Voices Award for Fiction, the NAACP Image Award, and the Los Angeles Times Award for First Fiction and have been nominated for many others. Together, they have been translated into thirty languages. He was named one of Foreign Policy’s 100 Leading Global Thinkers. He is a professor of creative writing at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and divides his time between the United States and Nigeria. View titles by Chigozie Obioma