"Bisi Adjapon writes with incredible vividness and clarity. Her similes and attention to all of the senses are really extraordinary."—Dave Eggers, author of The Monk of Mokha
"Melding blistering humor with razor-sharp insight, The Teller of Secrets heralds a marvel of a writer, one capable of deftly balancing questions of sexuality, politics, and feminism in a novel that is a pure joy to read."—Maaza Mengiste, author of The Shadow King, Shortlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize
In this stunning debut novel—a tale of self-discovery and feminist awakening—a feisty Nigerian-Ghanaian girl growing up amid the political upheaval of late 1960s postcolonial Ghana begins to question the hypocrisy of her patriarchal society, and the restrictions and unrealistic expectations placed on women.
Young Esi Agyekum is the unofficial "secret keeper" of her family, as tight-lipped about her father's adultery as she is about her half-sisters' sex lives. But after she is humiliated and punished for her own sexual exploration, Esi begins to question why women's secrets and men's secrets bear different consequences. It is the beginning of a journey of discovery that will lead her to unexpected places.
As she navigates her burgeoning womanhood, Esi tries to reconcile her own ideals and dreams with her family's complicated past and troubled present, as well as society's many double standards that limit her and other women. Against a fraught political climate, Esi fights to carve out her own identity, and learns to manifest her power in surprising and inspiring ways.
Funny, fresh, and fiercely original, The Teller of Secrets marks the American debut of one of West Africa's most exciting literary talents.