The fallout from a much-hyped debut is never easy to handle, particularly when the author in question published her first book at 21. For Chibundu Onuzo, though, following up 2012’s Commonwealth Book Prize-shortlisted The Spider King’s Daughter came easy.
“I dreamt of two soldiers in the Niger Delta and there was some sort of gun battle,” she recalls. “It was very vivid, so when I woke up I wrote it down – I never write my dreams down.”
Obviously, Onuzo is keen to point out that the journey to Welcome to Lagos, published last week, was slightly trickier than those auspicious beginnings might suggest. But her first two characters were right in front of her. And while soldiers, Chike and Yemi, are the initial focus, when they desert a cruel army and head to Lagos to hide, the story quickly broadens