Uchechukwu Peter Umezurike’s Double Wahala, Double Trouble Collects Stories of Grisly Love and Life

“Perhaps, all I have tried doing in the collection is to track our proclivities for love and hate, intimacy and violence, solidarity and treachery,” the writer and academic said.
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Double Wahala, Double Trouble by Uchechukwu Peter Umezurike

Double Wahala, Double Trouble.

The Nigerian writer and academic Uchechukwu Peter Umezurike has a new collection of stories, Double Wahala, Double Trouble. Griots Lounge Publishing Canada acquired the rights to it earlier this year.

Here is a description:

A woman chops off her finger to demonstrate her fidelity to her lover. A mother loses her mind upon discovering that her husband has left her and their only child. An artist seeks to unravel why his neighbour’s face enchants him. A passenger on a bus serves as an emissary of death.

Meet some of the characters in Double Wahala Double Trouble, a collection of eleven stories by the award-winning poet, short story writer, children’s novelist, and literary scholar.

In this stunning collection, Umezurike lures the reader into a journey of the absurd and the grisly to show us men and women struggling to live, desire, love, and thrive against the eddy of troubles in their world.

Double Wahala, Double Trouble has been described as “poetic, gripping, mesmerizing, inventive, and deeply entertaining” by the South African novelist Niq Mhlongo. The Nigerian novelist Chika Unigwe called it “compelling,” with prose that “shines like something very carefully polished.”

In a comment to Open Country Mag, Uchechukwu Peter Umezurike said, “The stories in Double Wahala Double Trouble have travelled far and wide with me, from Africa to North America, Europe, and Asia. Most of them bear some semblance to several travellers I’ve met on sundry journeys. I’ve tried to reproduce peculiar encounters, and I can only hope that readers find something resonant about these stories, recreate their own journeys into the world that I’ve attempted to delineate.”

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More praise has come from the Nigerian novelists Okey Ndibe (“a propulsive energy that keeps the reader riveted”), Helon Habila (“does everything a work of fiction should do—shock and impress at the same time . . . beautifully crafted”), and Abubakar Adam Ibrahim (“masterfully delivered. . . At once funny and painfully real”).

Uchechukwu Peter Umezurike.
Uchechukwu Peter Umezurike.

Uchechukwu Peter Umezurike holds a PhD in English from the University of Alberta. He is a poet, fiction writer, essayist, and literary journalist. An alumnus of the International Writing Program at Iowa, Umezurike is a recipient of the James Patrick Folinsbee Memorial Scholarship in Creative Writing from the University of Alberta and the Norma Epstein Foundation Award for Creative Writing from the University of Toronto. He is a co-editor of Wreaths for a Wayfarer, an anthology of poems. His children’s book, Wish Maker, is forthcoming from Masobe Books in December 2021. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta.

“Perhaps, all I have tried doing in the collection is to track our proclivities for love and hate, intimacy and violence, solidarity and treachery,” Umezurike said. “Double Wahala, Double Trouble maps stories of fragilities, vulnerabilities, and messiness of what we claim is humanity in a world doggedly inequitable.”

Double Wahala, Double Trouble is forthcoming in November 2021 from Griots Lounge Publishing Canada.

Paula Willie-Okafor
Paula Willie-Okafor is a staff writer at Open Country Mag. She is a student at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where she is custodian of The Writers' Community (TWC). Her writing has appeared in Kissing Dynamite Magazine and Praxis Magazine.

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