by Umar Turaki
Paperback, 255 pages
Publisher by Little A (2022)
An inexplicable sickness. A small town cut off from the world. An unexpected community of survivors forges a family out of the despair, struggling against things known and unknown for survival and hope.
A mysterious plague known as the Grey grips the small village of Pilam, which the world has quarantined without pity. Laying waste to Pilam’s residents, the sickness saps its victims of strength, drains the color from their eyes, and kills all promise. Only the young are immune. But beyond the barricades and walls of soldiers―the manifestation of a nation’s terror―there are rumors of a cure. Dunka, the eldest son of a family reeling from the Grey, takes on the daunting task of leaving Pilam to find that cure for his siblings and save them before it’s too late.
His brother and sisters, however, have plans of their own. Navigating the chaos of violence, hunger, and death, each of them tries to make sense of the bleak circumstances, forging new bonds with other juvenile survivors left to their own devices. Now an unlikely family of six, they choose their own perilous paths, at first separately and then together, coming to terms with the decisions they make and the ghosts they cannot leave behind.
Umar Turaki’s gripping novel is a story of survival, love, and the human spirit’s tenacious capacity for wonder.
About the author
Umar Turaki is a writer from Jos, Nigeria. His writing has been shortlisted for the Miles Morland Scholarship, longlisted for the Short Story Day Africa Prize, and has won the AFREADA Photo-Story Competition. Such a Beautiful Thing to Behold is his first novel.
Turaki is also a filmmaker with credits in Nigerian television that include the hit TV series, Halita, and the 8-part drama series, In Love and Ashes, on which he served as head writer and a director.
He lives in Kelowna, British Columbia, with his wife and daughter, where he is pursuing an MFA in creative writing at the University of British Columbia.