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Faith Simone

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My mother died when I was four years old. I remember few things about her, but I do remember that in the mornings when she woke me up and carried me, she often smelled of the earth. It was the same matinal smell that my grandmother had. I found out the secret of that smell just before I turned twelve.

Follow the daily lives, loves, and hopes of an entire community in Jola Naibi’s moving debut, Terra Cotta Beauty.

A carefully crafted selection of short stories, this collection examines life in Lagos, Nigeria, during the era of military rule. It reveals the struggles, loves, and hopes of a disparate group of people whose lives always manage to intersect—sometimes in the most devastating of ways.

With each brief conversation and split-second decision containing consequences that reach further than anyone could ever imagine, each of the book’s seven tales is a delicate thread that helps form the social fabric of a nation divided.

From a woman whose journalist husband is jailed for criticizing the government to a man’s reluctant descent into crime, Terra Cotta Beauty acts as a carefully crafted ode to the essence of Lagos itself: its people.