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Vagabonds!  By  cover art

Vagabonds!

By: Eloghosa Osunde
Narrated by: Arit Okpo,Atta Otigba,Eloghosa Osunde,Ifeyinwa Unachukwu,Obongjayar,Sheila Chukwulozie
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Publisher's summary

NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORKER

LONGLISTED FOR THE CENTER FOR FICTION FIRST NOVEL PRIZE AND THE VCU CABELL FIRST NOVELIST AWARD

“If you read one debut novel in 2022, this should be it.” —
Los Angeles Times

In the bustling streets and cloistered homes of Lagos, a cast of vivid characters—some haunted, some defiant—navigate danger, demons, and love in a quest to lead true lives.


As in Nigeria, vagabonds are those whose existence is literally outlawed: the queer, the poor, the displaced, the footloose and rogue spirits. They are those who inhabit transient spaces, who make their paths and move invisibly, who embrace apparitions, old vengeances and alternative realities. Eloghosa Osunde's brave, fiercely inventive novel traces a wild array of characters for whom life itself is a form of resistance: a driver for a debauched politician with the power to command life and death; a legendary fashion designer who gives birth to a grown daughter; a lesbian couple whose tender relationship sheds unexpected light on their experience with underground sex work; a wife and mother who attends a secret spiritual gathering that shifts her world. As their lives intertwine—in bustling markets and underground clubs, churches and hotel rooms—vagabonds are seized and challenged by spirits who command the city's dark energy. Whether running from danger, meeting with secret lovers, finding their identities, or vanquishing their shadowselves, Osunde's characters confront and support one another, before converging for the once-in-a-lifetime gathering that gives the book its unexpectedly joyous conclusion.

Blending unvarnished realism with myth and fantasy, Vagabonds! is a vital work of imagination that takes us deep inside the hearts, minds, and bodies of a people in duress—and in triumph.

©2022 Eloghosa Osunde (P)2022 Penguin Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: LGBTQ+

Critic reviews

“In a world that seeks to consign to the shadows those who don’t conform, Osunde’s vagabonds act as an illuminating force for one another.” —The New Yorker

“Ghosts and dueling deities occupy Ms. Osunde’s wild, phantasmagorical portrait of a city. . . . A note of empowerment appears, turning [Vagabonds!] into a kind of rallying cry. It is in the hidden margins of a corrupt metropolis, the stories affirm, that truth and bravery are to be found.” —Wall Street Journal

“Lagos has featured in any number of novels by Nigerian writers . . . but usually the gaze is relentlessly male. . . . Vagabonds! is different: it tells compelling stories of survival, about women seizing agency in spite of the forces ranged against them.”  —Adewale Maja-Pearce, London Review of Books

Featured Article: The Best LGBTQIA+ Listens by Queer Authors


We scoured the big and beautiful LGBTQIA+ canon to present some of our favorite queer-focused listens of all time. Truly great literature can foster a sense of belonging and the feeling of truly being seen. However, listeners on the hunt for the best LGBTQIA+ books out there know that finding stories about gay characters isn’t always easy. So, we’ve put together a series of lists detailing some of the best LGBTQIA+ listens available.

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What listeners say about Vagabonds!

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One of the best books of 2022

I absolutely loved this book. It's technically a collection of stories, but honestly it's just a story about a city - Lagos, Nigeria - and the people (and creatures) who live there. It's almost impossible to write a book that captures an entire city but this one succeeds in every way. It's magical and beautifully written, the kind of book you want to reread immediately just to catch the things you know you missed. Without question, I know it will be one of my favorite books of 2022.

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3 people found this helpful

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Magic

This book draws you in, cuts to your very core, and mends you right back. A truly magical (spiritual, more like) experience.

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3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

V! is an open door, will you walk through it?

I could tell you that this book is a masterpiece and a best seller but that’s something you should already know. Here’s somethings you may not know:
- you don’t need anything but an open heart to read this book. Put aside your god, your politics, your walls. You don’t need them here
- know that this book comes judgment free.
V! in a consistent tone shows you stories and yourself so when you see your shame in that, remember to interrogate yourself and ask it where it came from.

This book can be give everything you need if you let it. For me, it gave me courage to do the bravest thing I have ever done.

Through this book, at the end, in the middle, is freedom.

V! is an open door, will you walk through it?

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Loved it!

Such a wonderful book. The narration was lovely and almost magical. It was a little hard to keep track of the characters and the stories but other than that it was perfect. Will be checking out more from this author.

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Vagabonds! is soul finding!

I absolutely loved it! There’s a soul findingness attached to it.

The story was great, joined together at the seams and woven with really delicate threads that hold it firm.

The performance and narration were exceptional, putting an aliveness to the work.

I loved it all!

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Perfection!

This story is so whole, and so perfect. It has a voice unlike any other I’ve ever read

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  • Overall
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Powerful and Visionary

This is a work of remarkable power and vision. Everything about it is so wonderfully, authentically Nigerian. Well done, Eloghosa Osunde.

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Bravo

Loved it. Emotional. With many themes up for discussion. A definite conversation sparked. Well done!

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Terrible

Was REALLY looking forward to this release. But, after 10 minutes or so, I realize this story is just a "hot mess" of nonsense. I guess I won't pre-order a book until I see what the other reviews say first. I believe the LA Times was the newspaper that recommended this. I'm really disappointed. Will be returning it. Save your credit and $$$. This is, I think, the most negative review I've ever given. So sorry!

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