With this hilarious, nail-pointed satire, a devastating social parable brimming with humanity and heart, Barrett joins the ranks of the great tricksters: Alain Mabanckou, Joseph Heller and Charles Johnson It is the funniest, most engaging badass book I've read in years. You should read this book and enjoy freshly minted scintillating prose rioting with each other - it is a lush canvas of ideas, humor and vision. Blackass is fresh, contemporary writing without even trying; this is how fiction should be written in the 21st century. * Whats On Africa, Royal African Society * Gripping... This is a memorable, richly allusive story, skillfully interweaving thoughts from Kafka to the poet Elizabeth Bishop. Barrett probes not only the surface but the depths of who we are -- Anita Sethi * Observer * Wonderfully imagined, and very funny... a dazzling first novel by one of Africa's best young writers -- Kate Saunders * The Times * As well as being a fable about race and identity, Blackass is in large part a love letter to Lagos... For Barrett, race is inevitably one part of a person's identity, but it is one that asserts itself principally through the eyes of others, through how they "read" those they encounter. People will inevitably discuss this book, and Barrett's work in general, in the context of a resurgent Nigerian literary scene that includes writers such as Teju Cole, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Helon Habila. But, to read him only as a Nigerian writer would be to do him a disservice. For Blackass is a strange, compelling novel, and Barrett has something to tell us all. -- Jon Day * Financial Times *
A. Igoni Barrett was born in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, in 1979 and lives in Lagos. He is a winner of the 2005 BBC World Service short story competition, the recipient of a Chinua Achebe Center Fellowship, a Norman Mailer Center Fellowship, and a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Residency. His short story collection, Love is Power, or Something Like That, was published in 2013. In 2014 he was named on the Africa39 list of sub-Saharan African writers under 40. Blackass is his first novel.