“A pair of distinctive qualities [make] Nwọka worth continued attention. First is their command of different rhetorical modes . . . Second is an earned note of optimism . . . A well-turned dramatization of spiritual and social culture clashes.”
“Nwọka’s dense, mythologically charged debut . . . immerses the reader in an often-bewildering world . . . [a] stirring coming-of-age story.”
“God of Mercy is a profound exploration of religion, faith, and compassion from a gifted storyteller. Okezie Nwọka creates a richly imagined postcolonial landscape that is at once otherworldly, tragically human, and completely unforgettable.”
—Maisy Card, author of These Ghosts are Family
“God of Mercy isn’t just a heart-stopping debut—it’s a complete decolonization of the novel, a resounding rejection of the white gaze, a chronicle of a history that has for too long gone untold. This book is at the forefront of a new generation of postcolonial novels, and Nwoka’s talent is unmatched.”
—R.A. Frumkin, author of The Confidence
“This beautiful book has magic in it, and grace, and power.”
—Kate Christensen, author of The Great Man
God of Mercy
Homegoing meets Black Leopard, Red Wolf, Okezie Nwoka’s debut novel is a powerful reimagining of a history erased.
In the Igbo village of Ichulu, the people’s worship of their gods is absolute, and their adherence to tradition has allowed them to evade colonization. But the village is reckoning with changes, including a war between gods signaled by Ijeoma, a girl who can fly.
As tensions grow between Ichulu and its neighboring colonized villages, Ijeoma is forced into exile. Reckoning with her powers and suffering through isolation, she comes to understand the truth of merciful love.
A sprawling cast of characters presented in lyrical prose, God of Mercy reimagines the nature of tradition and cultural heritage. Establishing a folklore of the uncolonized, it is a novel built in diaspora, wrestling with gods, confronting demons, and contending with the notion of discovering one’s true purpose.