Harper Academic

The Road to the Salt Sea

A Novel

by Samuel Kolawole

On Sale: 07/02/2024

Price: $28.99

The Road to the Salt Sea

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The Road to the Salt Sea

A Novel

by Samuel Kolawole

On Sale: 07/02/2024

Format:

Price: $28.99

About the Book

As wrenching and luminous as Omar El Akkad’s What Strange Paradise and Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West, a searing exploration of the global migration crisis that moves from Nigeria to Libya to Italy, from an exciting new literary voice.

Able God works for low pay at a four-star hotel where he must flash his “toothpaste-white smile” for wealthy guests. When not tending to the hotel’s overprivileged clientele, he muses over self-help books and draws life lessons from the game of chess.

But Able’s ordinary life is upended when an early morning room service order leads him to interfere with Akudo, a sex worker involved with a powerful but dangerous hotel guest. Suddenly caught in a web of violence, guilt, and fear, Able must run to save himself—a journey that leads him into the desert with a group of drug-addled migrants, headed by a charismatic religious leader calling himself Ben Ten. The travelers’ dream of reaching Europe—and a new life—is shattered when they fall prey to human traffickers, suffer starvation, and find themselves on the precipice of death, fighting for their lives and their freedom.

As Able God moves into the treacherous unknown, his consciousness becomes focused on survival and the foundations of his beliefs—his ideas about betterment and salvation—are forever altered. Suspenseful, incisive, and illuminating, The Road to the Salt Sea is a story of family, fate, religion, survival, the failures of the Nigerian class system, and what often happens to those who seek their fortunes elsewhere.

Critical Praise

"In his fine debut novel, The Road to the Salt Sea, Samuel Kolawole gifts us the story of Able God, a conflicted but determined young Nigerian man who makes the dangerous journey from West Africa to Libya, where he crosses the treacherous waters of the Mediterranean into Europe. In bringing to life Able God’s story, Kolawole shows us why African lives matter and shows us that the continent teems with millions of Able Gods, people full of promise and potential who can help build a better world." — Jeffery Renard Allen, author of Fat Time and Other Stories and Song of the Shank

"I cannot think of another time in my life when I have come across a new writer as profoundly talented as Samuel Kolawole. And his profound talent has brought us a beautifully rendered, brutal novel told with great empathy and heart. The Road to the Salt Sea has all of the markings of a masterful and enduring work of literature. And I get the feeling that Kolawole is just warming up." — Julianna Baggott, bestselling coauthor of Which Brings Me to You and author of Harriet Wolf's Seventh Book of Wonders

"The Road to the Salt Sea is a stirring odyssey through the global migration crisis, from Nigeria to distant shores, where dreams collide with a brutal reality. Able God is a luminous and complex character who you will not soon forget." — Jai Chakrabarti, winner of a National Jewish Book Award, PEN/Faulkner Award finalist, and author of A Play for the End of the World and A Small Sacrifice for an Enormous Happiness

"Heart-breaking and educational, The Road to the Salt Sea is an unforgettable and moving tale of what it takes to survive with dignity and to make this tumultuous, unfair world our home." — Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai, international bestselling author of The Mountains Sing and Dust Child

"Brutal, vivid, and powerful, The Road to the Salt Sea is a pulsating piece of art that crawls inside you and refuses to let go. Samuel Kọ´la´wọle´ is a fearless writer." — Eric Nguyen, author of Things We Lost to the Water

"In The Road to the Salt Sea, Samuel Kọláwọlé hasn't so much as written a book as he takes the reader on a journey—a perilous and eye-opening odyssey. And like any great journey, you are not the same when you reach the end. Powerful, powerful work." — Rion Amilcar Scott, author of The World Doesn't Require You

"Kolawole's portrait of moral degradation is memorable, as Able God is forced to abandon his virtues one by one for the sake of survival. ... He’s one of countless refugees seeking a new life, but his trials are singular and harrowing. ... A bracing, well-paced story of migrant desperation." — Kirkus Reviews

"The Road to the Salt Sea tells the story of one man’s impossible emotional and physical journey as he fights for the life that he deserves in the face of extraordinary circumstances. It’s also a suspenseful, profound, and moving page-turner. This novel reads like a fable and a contemporary classic all at once." — Maria Kuznetsova, author of Oksana, Behave! and Something Unbelievable

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Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780063050853
  • ISBN 10: 0063050854
  • Imprint: Amistad
  • On Sale: 07/02/2024
  • Trimsize: 6.000 in (w) x 9.000 in (h) x 0.930 in (d)
  • Pages: 304
  • List Price: $28.99
  • BISAC1 : FICTION / Sagas
  • BISAC2 : FICTION / Historical
  • BISAC3 : FICTION / Literary
  • BISAC4 : FICTION / Religious
  • BISAC5 : FICTION / World Literature / Africa / Nigeria
  • BISAC6 : FICTION / Thrillers / Historical
  • BISAC7 : FICTION: Diversity & Multicultural
  • BISAC8 : FICTION / African American / Historical
  • BISAC9 : FICTION / Crime
  • BISAC10 : FICTION / Cultural Heritage