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Harper Collins | Amistad Press

The Road to the Salt Sea | Samuel Kolawole

The Road to the Salt Sea | Samuel Kolawole

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As wrenching and luminous as Omar El Akkad's What Strange Paradise and Mohsin Hamid's Exit West, a searing exploration of the global migration crisis that moves from Nigeria to Libya to Italy, from an exciting new literary voice.

Able God works for low pay at a four-star hotel where he must flash his "toothpaste-white smile" for wealthy guests. When not tending to the hotel's overprivileged clientele, he muses over self-help books and draws life lessons from the game of chess.

But Able's ordinary life is upended when an early morning room service order leads him to interfere with Akudo, a sex worker involved with a powerful but dangerous hotel guest. Suddenly caught in a web of violence, guilt, and fear, Able must run to save himself--a journey that leads him into the desert with a group of drug-addled migrants, headed by a charismatic religious leader calling himself Ben Ten. The travelers' dream of reaching Europe--and a new life--is shattered when they fall prey to human traffickers, suffer starvation, and find themselves on the precipice of death, fighting for their lives and their freedom.

As Able God moves into the treacherous unknown, his consciousness becomes focused on survival and the foundations of his beliefs--his ideas about betterment and salvation--are forever altered. Suspenseful, incisive, and illuminating, The Road to the Salt Sea is a story of family, fate, religion, survival, the failures of the Nigerian class system, and what often happens to those who seek their fortunes elsewhere.

 

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