Publishers of New Writing and Images

New Books from The New Gong

The New Gong Publishers marks its publishing debut with two new books:
Remembering Ken Saro-Wiwa and Other Essays by Adewale Maja-Pearce,
and War Games by Dulue Mbachu.  

The first consists of 23 essays written over the last 15 years on Africa and
things African for Granta magazine, the London Review of Books and Index
on Censorship, amongst others.

The second is a novel of a boy’s coming-of-age against the background of
the Nigerian-Biafran war. Both are published by The New Gong, an
innovative publishing house working out of Lagos, Nigeria which seeks to
showcase the best of Nigerian writing in English.

It followed up in June 2006 with two new titles:
God of Poetry by Uzor Maxim
Uzoatu and
Vision Impossible by Isidore Emeka Uzoatu.

The New Gong's first poetry title is a celebration of poetry, wide-ranging in
style and themes, revealing the thrilling depths of a rich talent.
captures the climate of fear under military rule in Nigeria,
making a mockery of tyrants in soaring prose.

The New Gong basically functions as a cooperative of writers leveraging on
their own editorial, managerial and technical skills to run a publishing
project to produce quality books. The aim is to set up a reputable
publishing house in Nigeria and break the debilitating reliance on foreign

The hope is to publish the best that is available, and show a way forward
after the demise of the likes of Heinemann African Writers’ Series, which
did so much to put the continent’s writing on the world map. We have no
restrictions in genre. We merely hope to publish the best that is available.

The two books are initially on sale online for $15 each. They represent the
first in a restricted list of titles to be published each year.

Here is what the blurbs say:

Remembering Ken Saro-Wiwa and Other Essays

‘Ken Saro-Wiwa aroused powerful emotions in his eventful life, and his
death by hanging on the orders of General Sani Abacha shook the world.
The sainthood of Saro-Wiwa has been promoted in much of the media, but
some polemical voices assert that he was more sinner than saint. In the
title essay of Remembering Ken Saro-Wiwa and Other Essays, Adewale
Maja-Pearce strikingly delves beyond the myths into the man in full, warts
and all, portraying an ambitious protagonist who initially cultivated powerful
friends in the military, in government and in business but ended up
tragically through judicial murder engendered by the fratricidal crossfire of
the Ogoni struggle. Like its subject, controversy dogged every step of this
book, and the publishing was nearly stopped as people took positions
without reading a word of it. Now that the book is finally out the public is
gifted with the pristine opportunity of dipping into the immense world of
Maja-Pearce as he in twenty-three heartfelt essays and reviews illuminates
the benighted mores of modern Nigeria, the identity question in South
Africa, the evil politics from cape to coast of Africa, and the seminal minds
across the world. This book is a treasure, a profound testament.’

(Use this link to buy from

War Games

‘A tender coming-of-age story forged in the crucible of Biafra, War Games
is a relentlessly candid and unsentimental reconstruction of a halcyon
world suddenly shattered by hate, flight and strife. For Basil
Chekwuchuckwu Odukwe or Cheche, the good life as a rich landlord’s son
in northern Nigeria suddenly turns nightmarish as the country descends
into civil war. The five-year-old yet to know the meaning of Nigeria’s
independence perforce escapes to his rural village of Amafor in the south
to start a different life in the shadow of traumatized parents and relatives,
war crimes and songs, folksy traditional pastimes and exacting Catholicism.
In this haunting and original first novel, Dulue Mbachu adroitly enters into
the skull of childhood to tell a compelling human story with remarkable
restraint and resonant narrative grace.’

(Use this link to buy from


Adewale Maja-Pearce is the author of a number of books, including In My
Father’s Country: A Nigerian Journey, Loyalties and Other Stories, How
many miles to Babylon?, A Mask Dancing: Nigerian Novelists of the
Eighties, and Who’s Afraid of Wole Soyinka? He has also edited The
Heinemann Book of African Poetry in English and Wole Soyinka: An
Appraisal. He was formerly editor of the Heinemann African Writers’ Series
(1986-94), and Africa editor of Index on Censorship (1986-97). He
currently lives in Lagos, where he runs YEMAJA, an editorial services

Dulue Mbachu was born in Nigeria in 1961. Since taking a degree in 1983
he has worked as a teacher and journalist. During 23 years as a journalist
Mbachu has reported Nigeria for media organizations including Reuters,
The Washington Post and Associated Press. His short stories have been
published in the magazines BBC Focus on Africa and West Africa. This is
his first novel.

Excerpts from the two books are available at our web site
com. You can also buy the books from the site.