Terra Cotta Beauty
by Jola Naibi
Terra Cotta Beauty is currently on tour with Write Now Literary Virtual Book Tours. The tour stops here today for an excerpt. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.
Follow the daily lives, loves, and hopes of an entire community in Jola Naibi’s moving debut, Terra Cotta Beauty.
A carefully crafted selection of short stories, this collection examines life in Lagos, Nigeria, during the era of military rule. It reveals the struggles, loves, and hopes of a disparate group of people whose lives always manage to intersect - sometimes in the most devastating of ways.
With each brief conversation and split-second decision containing consequences that reach further than anyone could ever imagine, each of the book’s seven tales is a delicate thread that helps form the social fabric of a nation divided.
From a woman whose journalist husband is jailed for criticizing the government to a young man’s reluctant descent into crime, Terra Cotta Beauty acts as a carefully crafted ode to the essence of Lagos itself: its people.
Excerpt from "The Fire Starter"
As the pair walk away, you follow several yards behind them. You instinctively realize that you don’t want to be seen, and when he throws a glance over his shoulder, you swiftly duck and hide in a corner near the wall of the house, where you startle a gangly man who is calmly responding to the call of nature. You ignore the startled look on the man’s face; you ignore the tirade of insults that he throws at you for daring to disrupt his moment of peace; you ignore the steady stream of liquid forming a triangulated pattern against the wall. You keep your eye on the pair, who by now have arrived at their destination, a quaint-looking house on the corner of a street. The house is barricaded by a gray gate.
The sign in front of the house says Terra-Cotta Beauty.
Praise for the Book
"Terra Cotta Beauty presents characters you’ll care about, who provide a window on life in Lagos, Nigeria, but who also express thoughts, attitudes, and emotions that are universally human. The well-crafted stories are intertwined and full of surprises. I enjoyed this journey to a place I’ve never visited - but now feel as though I have." ~ Shannon Roe
"I loved this book. It consists of short stories that are interconnected – a minor character in one story may play a major role in another. Each story paints a portion of a larger canvass that, taken together, gives the reader a rich view of life in Lagos at many levels of society. It was fascinating for me, as an American, to experience another culture through Jola Naibi's skillful storytelling. This book will appeal to readers at many levels: learning about life in a major African city, exploring the complex social web of Lagos, and human relationships. It is a fun and engaging book and will leave the reader with a lot to think about. I am happy to recommend this book." ~ David Lawrence
"In Terra Cotta Beauty, Author Jola Naibi has penned captivating tales expertly woven together and steeped in Nigerian culture. As I traveled from story to story, I found it hard to put this book down as the undeniable connections of humanity unfolded before my eyes. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about a different culture and human experience. Naibi has a way with words and is a wonderful storyteller." ~ Adrienne Thompson
About the Author
Jola Naibi was raised in Lagos, Nigeria, studied in the United Kingdom, and currently lives in the United States. She enjoys writing and blogging as a way to satisfy and extremely eager imagination. Terra Cotta Beauty is her first collection of short stories.