Tope  Folarin-A Particular Kind of Black Man

Tope Folarin


Tope Folarin is a Nigerian-American writer based in Washington, DC. He won the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2013, and was shortlisted once again in 2016. He was also recently named to the Africa39 list of the most promising African writers under 39. He was educated at Morehouse College and the University of Oxford, where he earned two Masters degrees as a Rhodes Scholar.


Searching for Community and Home Amid Displacement, PEN America Immigration Track

Debut novelists Devi Laskar and Tope Folarin explore the theme of displacement, and the feeling of being unmoored and isolated, while searching for supportive and accepting communities. In the process, their characters grapple with identity, fraught memories, prejudice, as they learn how to redefine what it means to be and feel at home.

Moderator: Anjali Enjeti

Anjali Enjeti is an award-winning Atlanta-based journalist and essayist who currently serves as Membership Vice President for the National Book Critics Circle. Her work has appeared in Newsday, The Washington Post, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Nation, Al Jazeera, The Atlantic, and elsewhere. She teaches creative nonfiction in the MFA program at Reinhardt University, and her essay collection about identity is forthcoming from the University of Georgia Press.

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A Particular Kind of Black Man

Small-town Utah has never felt like home for Tunde Akinola—classmates touch his hair and wonder why the brown won’t rub off his skin. While his ever-optimist father clings to his American dream, his mother battles demons of schizophrenia that eventually consume her when she flees to Nigeria. Tunde spends the rest of his childhood searching for connection that can help make sense of his tumultuous past—to the Nigerian grandmother who keeps him tethered to a home he’s never known; to the opaque stepmother and stepbrothers he gains when his father remarries; to the Utah residents who mock his father’s accent; to his Texas middle school’s crowd of African-Americans; to intoxicating and resolute young love. In so doing, he discovers something that sends him on a journey away from everything he has known. BUY THIS BOOK!