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Walking on Cowrie Shells

Walking on Cowrie Shells

Nana Nkweti


234 pages

Short Stories, Literary Fiction

ISBN: 979-8-9872914-2-9

Publication Date: September 2023


“Raucous and thoroughly impressive… Nkweti’s utterly original stories range from laugh-out-loud funny to heartbreaking, and are often both… Sensitivity, nuance and keen attention to history shine through on every page of the collection… These are stories to get lost in again and again.”

The New York Times Book Review

“This début collection of stories revels in variety—of character, style, and even genre.”

The New Yorker

“Beautiful and immersive… Whether Nkweti is writing about water goddesses, zombies, or aspiring graphic novelists, she reveals and celebrates the rich inner lives of those who do not fit neatly into social and cultural categories… Nkweti’s sentences soar, enthralling the reader through their every twist and turn, and often ending with a wry punch… This is a groundbreaking and vital work.”

Publishers Weekly


An adoptee leverages her new parents to fast track her fortunes. A sword-wielding teenager navigates a crush at Comic-Con. A jaded PR man tries to spin a zombie outbreak in West Africa. A mother and daughter search for spiritual meaning in the midst of a family crisis. A water goddess sacrifices her power for the fisherman she loves.

In these stories, Caine Prize shortlisted author Nana Nkweti pulls from mystery, horror, realism and myth to showcase the complexity of characters whose lives span Cameroonian and American cultures. A dazzling, inventive debut, Walking on Cowrie Shells announces the arrival of a superlative new voice.