Join MoAD and Litquake for a conversation with Nigerian author Omolola Ijeoma Ogunyemi as she discusses her dazzling novel Jollof Rice and Other Revolutions, which explores her homeland’s past, present, and possible future through the interconnected stories of four students at an all-girls boarding school, who grapple with the unexpected possibilities—and limitations—of adulthood and the uncertainties of the world within and outside of Nigeria.
Revolving around loss, belonging, family, friendship, alienation, and silence, Jollof Rice is a moving, multifaceted portrait of lives shaped by hope and sorrow—of women who must contend with the ever-present and unsettling notion that moving forward in time isn’t necessarily progress. This program is presented as part of MoAD's African Book Club, dedicated to reading and promoting 21st century literature by and about Africans. Author Omolola Ijeoma Ogunyemi will be in conversation with author, professor, host and co-founder of African Book Club, Faith Adiele.
“Truly this book will grab hold of your heart and mind and everything in between.” —Roxane Gay
About African Book Club
Hosted and curated by writer and professor Faith Adiele, African Book Club is dedicated to reading and promoting 21st-century literature by and about Africans. MoAD has partnered with the African Book Club since fall 2019, though the book club first began in 2016. Though the majority of the selections have been written in English, the African Book Club champions Africa’s diversity by seeking out female and LGBTQIA+ voices, newer literary genres like Afro-Futurism, Young Adult, and Mystery, and representation from all regions, including translations from the Arabic, French and Portuguese. In 2022, MoAD launched its first-ever African Literary Award selected from African Book Club titles, recognizing an author who produced a work of literary excellence and demonstrated leadership in promoting writing and literacy in their local community.
Omolola Ijeoma Ogunyemi was born and raised in Ibadan, Nigeria. A finalist for the 2009 PEN/Studzinski Literary Award, her stories and poetry have appeared in New Writing from Africa 2009, Ploughshares, The Massachusetts Review, the Indiana Review, Wasafiri, Dance the Guns to Silence: 100 Poems for Ken Saro-Wiwa, and The American Poetry Review. She graduated from Barnard and UPenn with bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in computer science. Omolola is a professor of preventive and social medicine at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in South Los Angeles, where she teaches and conducts research on using biomedical informatics to reduce health disparities. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband.
Faith Adiele co-founded and hosts MoAD’s African Book Club, and her monthly column for Detour: Best Stories in Black Travel is syndicated in The Miami Herald. An award-winning memoirist, she contributes to the CALM app, HBO-Max, Alta Magazine, Hyperallergic and others, and her recent work has received Emmy and SoCal Journalism Award nominations. Faith graduated from Harvard College and the University of Iowa’s Writing Workshop and Nonfiction Writing programs. She has a set of hybrid chapbooks about her Nigerian-Nordic-American family forthcoming from Texas Review Press and a travel writing craft guide from Columbia University Press. She lives in Oakland and chairs the Writing & Literature program at California College for the Arts.