269pp., paperback, Athens, 2021
A coming-of-age novel set in Nigeria in the 1980s and 1990s. Ewaen, a student at the University of Benin, is forced to adapt when strikes, violence and corruption disrupt campus life.
“Fine Boys is the first African novel I know that takes us into the world of the children of IMF: those post–Berlin wall Africans, like myself, who came of age in the days of the Conditionalities, those imposed tools and policies that made our countries feral; the days that turned good people into beasts, the days that witnessed the great implosion and scattering of the middle classes of a whole continent. Fine Boys takes us deep into the lives of the notorious gangs that took over universities all over Nigeria in the 1990s and early this century. We saw our universities collapse, and we struggled to educate ourselves through very harsh times. It is a beautifully written novel, heartfelt, deeply knowledgeable, funny, a love story, a tragedy; an important book, a book of our times; a book for all Africans everywhere.” Binyavanga Wainaina, author of One Day I Will Write about This Place: A memoir
“Eghosa Imasuen ... has exposed the foibles of a generation which, arguably, is one of the most scarred in postwar Nigeria. A generation which lost years of academic life to strikes…. A generation that remained blind to the irony of bravely protesting against the tyranny of military dictatorship while having no compunction about doing mindless violence to members of rival confras. A generation which cursed corrupt leaders and elders but cheated in exams. A generation which, incredibly, deludes itself still that it is better, nobler, than the rest. Fine Boys is not just our story—it’s our ode, diatribe, lamentation, and our what-the-hell-happened-to-us.” Chimeka Garricks, author of Tomorrow Died Yesterday
Eghosa Imasuen is the cofounder of Narrative Landscape Press, a publishing company based in Lagos. He studied medicine at the University of Benin and lives in Lagos.