Jerry Chiemeke’s Debut, Dreaming of Ways to Understand You, Out in Print

The story collection “chronicles the dreams and desperations of a disillusioned demographic.”
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Dreaming of Ways to Understand You by Jerry Chiemeke. Credit: Jerry Chiemeke.

Dreaming of Ways to Understand You by Jerry Chiemeke. Credit: Jerry Chiemeke.

Dreaming of Ways to Understand You, the debut fiction book by the Nigerian writer and culture critic Jerry Chiemeke, is now available in print. The collection explores, in 15 short stories, a range of millennial experiences in Nigeria. It was first released online in September. The print edition is published by MagicWand Publishing.

Here is a description:

Dreaming of Ways To Understand You is a collection of fifteen short stories that explore the complexities of human relationships. These stories take us on a journey with complex characters who attempt to navigate the intricacies of living in contemporary Nigeria: an online hookup takes a really awkward turn, a secondary school reunion brings back memories of sexual assault, a lawyer struggles to keep up with the mental health complexities of his love interest, a queer woman battles with decade-long commitment issues, and a young man reminiscing on a childhood crush is forced to relive moments from a difficult past.

In prose that is as gritty as it is irreverent, Jerry Chiemeke embarks on a journey that stretches from nightclubs in Lagos to forests in Asaba, with detours at dirt roads in Warri. The narrative zooms in on clapping thighs in bath tubs, eerie songs on high seas, chunks of flesh on bloodied sheets, and weeping lovers in hotel rooms. Here, Chiemeke chronicles the dreams, aspirations, interactions, tears, and desperations of a disillusioned demographic.  

Jerry Chiemeke. From Jerry Chiemeke.
Jerry Chiemeke. From Jerry Chiemeke.

Jerry Chiemeke is a columnist, culture critic, and lawyer. His works have appeared in The Inlandia Journal, The Johannesburg Review of Books, The Guardian, The Republic, Honey & Lime, Bone and Ink Press, and Agbowo, among others. He has also been a featured contributor for Okadabooks, Bella Naija, The Bagus, The Lagos Review, and Opera News Hub. He won the 2017 Ken Saro-Wiwa Prize for Reviews and was shortlisted for the 2019 Diana Woods Memorial Award for Creative Nonfiction. He has facilitated writing workshops in different parts of Nigeria. For his contribution to the literary community, he was presented with the 2019 Connect Nigeria Award for Excellence. A lover of long walks and alternative rock music, Jerry lives in Lagos, where he is working on a novel.

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Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young, a writer, culture journalist, curator, and media consultant, is the founder and editor of Open Country Mag. He was editor of Folio Nigeria, CNN’s exclusive media affiliate in Africa, and has led or joined editorial teams at a host of platforms and projects in African literature. He has written about the Nigerian culture scene, covering innovation in over 20 fields including art, music, tech, sports, cuisine, fashion, journalism, sculpture, beauty, health, and activism. In literature, his Profile subjects have included Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Teju Cole, Damon Galgut, and Tsitsi Dangarembga. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He sat on the judging panel of The Morland Scholarship, a British grant for African writers, and currently chairs the panel of The Gerald Kraak Prize, a South African initiative for storytelling about gender, sexuality, and social justice. He has an MA in African Studies and a BA in English and History from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. He is currently studying for an MFA at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. In 2019, he received the inaugural The Future Awards Africa Prize for Literature. In 2020, he was named among “The 100 Most Influential Young Nigerians” by Avance Media. Twitter & Instagram: @otosirieze. Website: otosirieze.com.

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