The winner of the 2016 NLNG Nigerian Prize for Literature is Abubakar Adam Ibrahim whose first novel, A Season of Crimson Blossoms, clinched the prize. One of the judges of the prize, Professor Banjo described Abubakar’s A Season of Crimson Blossoms as “as skillful and sympathetic narrative.” A Season of Crimson Blossom, his first novel is set in conservative northern Nigeria, between a 55-year-old widow, Binta and 25-year-old ‘area-boy’ Reza, their lives become intertwined when Reza tries to rob Binta.
Below is an excerpt from the book:
Two nights later, when he was tossing and turning on the bed next to her, she knew he would nudge her with his knee and she would have to throw her legs open. He would lift her wrapper, spit into her crotch and mount her. His calloused fingers would dig into the mounds on her chest and he would bite his lower lip to prevent any moan escaping. She would count slowly under her breath, her eyes closed, of course. And somewhere between sixty and seventy – always between sixty and seventy – he would grunt, empty himself and roll off her until he was ready to go again. Zubairu was a practical man and fancied their intimacy as an exercise in conjugal frugality. It was something to be dispensed with promptly, without silly ceremonies.
She wanted it to be different. She had always wanted it to be different. And so when he nudged her that night, instead of rolling on to her back and throwing her legs apart, she rolled into him and reached for his groin. He instinctively moaned when she caressed his hardness and they both feared their first son, lying on a mattress across the room, would stir.
‘What the hell are you doing?’ The words, half-barked, half-whispered, struck her like a blow. He pinned her down and, without further rituals, lifted her wrapper. She turned her face to the wall and started counting. The tears slipped down the side of her closed eyes before she got to twenty.