An unsettling tale of murder in a country whose dead slaves are shackled with stories that must be heard.
NO ONE DIES YET
by Kobby Ben Ben
Europa Editions UK, Fall 2022
(via Neon Literary)
The Year of Return, linked to the 400th anniversary of slaves landing in the US, memorialised the many who died during the slave trade in Ghana, particularly at Elmina Castle, while encouraging members of the African diaspora to visit. As Black diasporans around the world make the pilgrimage to West Africa, three African-American friends join in the festivities to explore Ghana’s colonial past and its underground queer scene. They are thrust into the hands of two guides, Kobby and Nana, whose intentions aren’t clear, yet they are the narrators we have to trust. Kobby, a modern deviant according to Nana’s traditional and religious principles, offers a more upscale and privileged tour of Ghana and also becomes the friends’ link to Accra’s secret gay culture. Nana’s adherence to his pastor’s teachings against sin makes him hate Kobby enough to want to kill.
NO ONE DIES YET is a shocking and unsettling tale of murder that is at times funny, at times erotic, yet always outspoken and iconoclastic. Kobby Ben Ben proves in this his first novel that he is set to become one of the most prominent new voices to emerge in this decade.
Kobby Ben Ben, born in Ghana, spends his time reviewing books as well as curating books for his African Book Club, Ghana Must Read. His eccentric Instagram book blog, @bookworm_man, has caught the attention of Booker Winner Bernardine Evaristo and other celebrated writers such as Maaza Mengiste and Petina Gappah. When he isn’t writing poetry masked as prose or anticipating Michaela Coel’s next project, he’s most passionate about discovering debut writers of colour whose stories shed light on underrepresented languages and cultures. NO ONE DIES YET is his first novel.