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.
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.