From Victoria Island, Lagos to Brooklyn, U.S.A. to Accra, Ghana to Paris, France; from across the Diaspora to the heart of the African continent, in this memoir Nigerian journalist Chike Frankie Edozien offers a highly personal series of contemporary snapshots of same gender loving Africans, unsung Great Men living their lives, triumphing and finding joy in the face of great adversity. On his travels and sojourns Edozien explores the worsening legal climate for gay men and women on the continent; the impact homophobic evangelical American pastors are having in many countries, and its toxic intersection with political populism; and experiences the pressures placed on those living under harshly oppressive laws that are themselves the legacy of colonial rule – pressures that sometimes lead to seeking asylum in the West. Yet he remains hopeful, and this memoir, which is pacy, romantic and funny by turns, is also a love-letter to Africa, above all to Nigeria and the megalopolis that is Lagos.
PRAISE FOR ‘LIVES OF GREAT MEN’
“Frankie Edozien’s The Lives of Great Men is an incredibly powerful portrayal of what it means to be a gay Nigerian man. But what makes this book so outstanding is its tender and insightful exploration of all the complicated, unspoken bonds in our most intimate relationships. In prose that is at once engaging and inquisitive, Edozien holds the human heart to light and finds the ways it manages to survive despite it all.”
Maaza Mengiste, author of Beneath the Lion’s Gaze
“Frankie Edozien writes with an urgency that is compelling, with a vulnerable honesty that is disarming and impressive, and with elegance about his life and a subject so risky and yet necessary. This is not a memoir of coming out gay in Nigeria as much as it is a call to step into our humanity. A necessary and courageous book.”
Chris Abani, author of GraceLand and The Secret History of Las Vegas