Stephen Buoro Presents The Five Sorrowful Mysteries of Andy Africa, in conversation with Kamila Shamsie

May 2nd

Crackling with energy and intelligence, this debut is the "smart, subversive, funny, heartbreaking" (Kamila Shamsie) story of an exceptional teenager coming of age in the shadow of colonialism and communal violence in Nigeria.

Andrew Aziza is an unusually smart fifteen-year-old in Kontagora, Nigeria. He lives with his fiercely protective mother, Gloria, and fantasizes obsessively about white girls-especially blondes. When he's not in church, at school, or hanging about town with his droogs wishing to become one of “Africa's first superheroes,” he's contemplating the larger questions with his teacher Zahrah and his equally brilliant friend Fatima, a Hausa-Fulani girl who has feelings for him. Together they discuss mathematical theorems, Black power, and what Andy has deemed the Curse of Africa.

Sure enough, the reluctantly nicknamed Andy Africa soon falls hopelessly and inappropriately in love with the first white girl he lays eyes on: Eileen. But at the church party held to celebrate her arrival, multiple crises loom. An unfamiliar man there claims, despite his mother's denials, to be Andy's father, and an anti-Christian mob has gathered, headed for the church. In the ensuing havoc and its aftermath, Andy is forced to reckon with his identity and desires and determine how to live on the so-called Cursed Continent.

The Five Sorrowful Mysteries of Andy Africa announces a dazzlingly unique literary voice. Crackling with energy, this tragicomic novel provides a stunning lens into contemporary African life, the complicity of the West, and the impossible challenges of growing up in a turbulent world.

“Enthrals . . . Punchy . . . The vivid immediacy of Buoro's prose is transporting . . . There is swagger and humility in Buoro's writing, which blends the bluster of a teenage boy who knows he's a “loud smartass” with the diffidence of someone who knows his country is broken . . . When, near the end of the book, Zahrah tells Andy, “You've got a huge interesting life ahead of you,” she could be talking about Buoro, whose writing deserves to inspire a generation of superheroes.” —The Times (UK)

Stephen Buoro was born in Nigeria in 1993. He has received a degree in mathematics and an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia and was the recipient of the Booker Prize Foundation Scholarship. He has also received the Deborah Rogers Foundation Award. He lives in Norwich, United Kingdom. THE FIVE SORROWFUL MYSTERIES OF ANDY AFRICA is his first book.




Kamila Shamsie is the author of eight novels, which have been translated into over 30 languages, including Home Fire which won the Women’s Prize for Fiction and was long listed for the Man Booker Prize. A Vice-President of the Royal Society of Literature and Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Manchester, she was one of Granta’s ‘Best of Young British Novelists’ in 2013. She grew up in Karachi, lives in London and this spring is a visiting fellow at Princeton University. Her most recent novel is Best of Friends (Riverhead).





Buy the Book: 
The Five Sorrowful Mysteries of Andy Africa By Stephen Buoro Cover Image
ISBN: 9781635577778
Availability: On Our Shelves
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - April 18th, 2023