This House is Not for Sale | Granta

  • Published: 03/03/2016
  • ISBN: 9781847084835
  • 129x20mm
  • 192 pages

This House is Not for Sale

E.C. Osondu

This House is Not for Sale is a story about a house in an African neighbourhood, the Family House, owned and ruled over by the patriarchal, business-minded Grandpa – by turns benevolent and cruel – and home to his wives, children, grandchildren, and the many in his service. It tells the stories of the people who live there, of the curse placed on the house by one of its former occupants, of the evil and brutality that transpires there, and finally of its downfall.

By the acclaimed author of Voice of America, This House is Not for Sale is a brilliantly inventive debut novel which draws on the rich oral traditions of Nigeria and is full of wisdom and dark humour. From everyday violence and magic, to the voices of gossiping neighbours, here is an utterly engrossing story of an African community, its culture and traditions, and the power of storytelling.

[A] timeless [and] ambitious debut... [it] tells the stories of every one of us, looking for a place in history and society yet struggling to hold onto our private emotions, keeping them intact from the world at large

Yiyun Li

Paints a powerful portrait of a community in microcosm rather than diaspora


Narrative fleetness [...] animates Osondu's second work, This House is Not for Sale, right down to the level of its wry sentences... The result is a collection of semi-fantastic modern urban tales... a sense of the marvellous embedded within the texture of daily life

Hedley Twidle, Financial Times

The Author

E. C. Osondu was born in Nigeria. His writing has appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, Fiction, Vice and the New Statesman, among other publications. He won the 2009 Caine Prize for African Writing and holds an MFA from Syracuse University. He currently teaches at Providence College, Rhode Island. His first book, Voice of America, was published by Granta in 2011. His latest novel, This House is Not for Sale, will also be published by Granta in 2015.

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From the Same Author

Voice of America

E.C. Osondu

Set in Nigeria and America, Voice of America moves from boys and girls in villages and refugee camps, to the disillusionment and confusion of young married couples living in America, and then back to bustling Lagos. These are stories of two countries and of the frayed bonds that connect them.

In ‘Waiting’, two young refugees make their way through another day, fighting for meals and hoping for a miracle that will carry them out of the camp; in ‘A Simple Case’ the boyfriend of a prostitute gets rounded up by the local police and must charm his fellow prisoners for protection and survival; and in ‘Miracle Baby’ the trials of pregnancy and mother-in-laws are laid bare in a woman’s return to her homeland. Written with exhilarating energy and warmth, the stories of Voice of America are full of humour, pathos and wisdom, and mark the debut of an immensely talented new voice.