Religious fervour culminates in an exorcism for one unfortunate maid. A harrowing encounter on a train haunts Añuli. A mother abandons her child in search of personal freedom. A wife joins her husband, only to be met with news that threatens their relationship.
This richly imagined collage of interconnected stories follows Prosperous and Agu, and the motley community of Nigerian ex-pats who gather at their apartment each week. Their reality is one of dashed hopes, twisted love and the pain of homesickness, even as they fight to make their way in this new world.
Better Never Than Late is a layered and affecting portrayal of the everyday absurdities and adversities of migrant life.
"This collection ... is so wry and so generous, so astute about human deeds and misdeeds. Under Unigwe's masterful hands, relationship between Nigerians and Belgians, Naijas and Oyibo, priests and parish, bosses and workers, men and women, parents and children, friends and rivals are struck, ignite, flicker to life like flames in a candelabra. The circle of light that Better Never Than Late casts is delicate and lucid, warm as a spot of sun or a hearth--which is to say, warm as a home.– Namwali Serpell, author of The Old Drift
“Chika Unigwe writes radiant fiction about Nigerian characters and their encounters with Europe and its ideologies. This essential book shines a light on personal experiences of migration in ways that illuminate and surprise.” – Bernardine Evaristo, author of Girl, Woman, Other
“These are perfect stories about imperfect people- strangers in strange lands. When a book this awesome gets into your hands- evangelize it, hand copies to friends, foes and even strangers.” – E.C. Osondu, writer and winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing
“These stories are so vital, funny and finely made, they make it a little easier to live in a world where love is so important, and yet so unpredictable.” – John Freeman, writer and editor of Freeman’s
“Chika Unigwe is a master artist of character. She can bring a person to life with a single gesture, a quicksilver thought. Better Never Than Late is a stunning collection by one of our most vital contemporary writers.” – Laura van den Berg, award-winning author of The Third Hotel
“I loved this book, a universal story of people on the move, a marvellous patchwork of the lives of different people from Nigeria.” – Rachida Lamrabet, author of Vrouwland