Jollof Rice and Other Revolutions
by Omolola Ijeoma Ogunyemi
Nigerian author Omolola Ijeoma Ogunyemi makes her American debut with this dazzling novel which explores her homeland’s past, present, and possible future through the interconnected stories of four fearless globe-trotting women.Moving between Nigeria and America, Jollof Rice and Other Revolutions is a window into the world of accomplished Nigerian women, illuminating the challenges they face and the risks they take to control their destinies.Students at an all-girls boarding school, Nonso, Remi, Aisha, and Solape forge an unbreakable sisterhood that is tempered during a school rebellion, an uprising with repercussions that will forever reverberate through their lives. The children of well-to-do families, these young women have been raised with a thirst for independence, believing a university education is their right—a legacy of ambition and hope inherited from their foremothers.Leaving school and adolescence behind, the women grapple with the unexpected possibilities—and limitations—of adulthood and the uncertainties of the world within and outside of Nigeria. A trip to Ghana opens Nonso’s eyes to the lasting impact of the transatlantic slave trade, she falls in love with an African American, and makes a new home in the United States. Remi meets Segun, a dynamic man of Nigerian descent from Yonkers whose own traumatic struggles and support gives her the strength to confront painful family wounds. Aisha’s overwhelming sense of guilt haunts her, influencing career and relationship decisions until she sees a chance to save her son’s life and, through her sacrifice, redefine her own.Revolving around loss, belonging, family, friendship, alienation, and silence, Jollof Rice and Other Revolutions is a moving, multifaceted portrait of lives shaped by hope and sorrow—of women who must contend with the ever-present and unsettling notion that moving forward in time isn’t necessarily progress.