Chinelo Okparanta's Highly Anticipated Debut Novel "Under the Udala Trees" Launches with an Event at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe

Southern New Hampshire University's Low-Residency MFA in Fiction and Nonfiction Program Congratulates Faculty Member Chineol Okparanta on the Launch of Her New Novel


MANCHESTER, N.H., Sept. 22, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Southern New Hampshire University's low-residency MFA in Fiction and Nonfiction program would like to congratulate Chinelo Okparanta on the launch of her highly anticipated debut novel 'Under the Udala Trees.'

The novel chronicles the coming of age of a young woman named Ijeoma against the backdrop of the Nigerian civil war. Sent away to escape the violence, Ijeoma meets a girl from a different ethnic community and they fall in love. In a voice that Kirkus calls 'masterful,' Okparanta explores the devastating cost of intolerance and the transcendent power of love.

Acclaimed novelist Taiye Selasi, author of "Ghana Must Go," writes of Okparanta's novel, "Under the Udala Trees interrogates constructions of womanhood, of nationhood, and of sexuality. In these elegant folds of restrained prose lies a searing condemnation: of violence, religion and patriarchy in modern day Nigeria. Raw, emotionally intelligent and unflinchingly honest, Under the Udala Trees is a triumph."
Selasi will join Okparanta at the launch of "Under the Udala Trees" on Wednesday, September 23rd at Housing Works Bookstore Café in New York. The event that begins at 7 P.M. will also feature readings and conversations with special guests Natalie Diaz and Naomi Jackson, and live music by Reiko and Nano Fueting. It is co-presented by Lambda Literary and Literary Hub.
Born in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, Okparanta is the author of Happiness, Like Water. Her honors include an O. Henry Prize, a Lambda Award, and finalist selections for the Young Lions, the Caine Prize, and the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. Her stories have appeared in Granta, The New Yorker, and Tin House, among others. She lives in New York and teaches in Southern New Hampshire University's low-residency MFA program where other distinguished faculty members include 2015 National Book Prize nominees Sy Montgomery and Angela Flournoy.

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