The day a stained brown envelope arrives from Taduno’s homeland, he knows that the time has come to return from exile. Arriving full of hope, the musician discovers that his community no longer recognizes him and no one recalls his voice. His girlfriend Lela has disappeared, taken away by government agents. He wanders through his house in search of clues but any trace of his old life has been erased. As he realizes that all there is left of the house and of himself is an empty shell, Taduno finds a new purpose: to unravel the mystery of his lost life and to find his lost love. Through this search, he comes to face a difficult decision: to sing for love or to sing for his people.

Taduno’s Song is a moving tale of sacrifice, love and courage.

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“The power of music to stir memory and move the hardest heart permeates Taduno’s Song . . . I urge people to read this unforgettable new voice, writing in polished prose about how it feels to be silenced.”

Observer, UK

“Burning with magic and loss, exile and return, beauty and heartache, Taduno’s Song is a colossal epic, disguised as a small novel.”

Marlon James, Booker Prize-winning author of A Brief History Of Seven Killings

“This quiet novel is an original. It is as if Odafe Atogun has plunged into the depths of the sea of Nigeria’s history and returned with a leviathan, and invited us to see – and be amused, troubled, scared, and even angry. And we cannot help but look.”

Chigozie Obioma, Booker-Shortlisted author of The Fishermen

“A heartfelt and imaginative story told with sincerity and compassion.”

Petina Gappah, author of An Elegy for Easterly and The Book of Memory

“Beautifully written and thoroughly engaging . . . Atogun is a writer with untold potential.”

The Student

“I found a character who, like Fela, straddles the space between activism and Art”

Femi Anikulapo-Kuti

“Taduno’s Song is a big-hearted, emotionally-rich novel—a generous work that deserves a wide readership.”

Okey Ndibe, author of Foreign Gods Inc and Arrows of Rain

“Uniting a retelling of the Orpheus myth, an indictment of totalitarian inhumanity, and a Kafkaesque meditation on identity within the spare language of fable, Atogun’s memorable debut novel testifies to the power of both oppression and art.”

Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Atogun is not without Kafka’s often humane and comic touches. Like Orwell, Atogun excels in plain language, in reducing situations to their bare essentials. Yet the author resists reducing his characters to mere political symbols. They are compelling as people in their own right.”


“This beautiful little book deserves a place on the shelf. Thoughtful readers will be enthralled.”

Library Journal

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