Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Author Spotlight: Nuzo Cambridge Onoh's African Horror


The Reluctant Dead is a new and unexplored genre in horror, African Horror, which lovers of all regional horror like Korean, Scandinavian and Japanese genre will enjoy.

If you like what you read, be sure to review on Amazon!

Nuzo Cambridge Onoh is a British writer of African heritage. Born in Enugu, in the Eastern part of Nigeria (formerly known as The Republic Biafra), she lived through the civil war between Biafra and Nigeria (1967 – 1970), an experience that left a strong impact on her and continues to influence her writing to date.

She attended Queen’s school, Enugu, Nigeria, before proceeding to the Quaker boarding school, The Mount School, York, (England) and finally, St Andrew’s Tutorial college, Cambridge, (England) from where she obtained her A’ levels. Nuzo holds both a Law degree and a Masters Degree in Writing from Warwick University, (England). A keen piano player, Nuzo also has an NVQ in Digital Music Production from City College, Coventry.

She sometimes writes under the pseudonym, Alex Stranger-Onoh. She has two daughters, Candice and Jija and lives in Coventry, England. When not writing or haunting the Coventry War Memorial Park, Nuzo runs her own independent self-publishing house, Canaan-star Publishing, UK and is a regular guest on BBC Coventry and Warwickshire Radio. Nuzo is a strong believer in re-incarnation and The Law of Attraction.

In writing The Reluctant Dead, Nuzo pulled from her childhood experiences, growing up amidst the death and carnage that was the Biafran/Nigerian civil war, where the boundaries of life and death merged into a blurred line for her. She lost several family members in the war and her family house in Old Biafra is littered with the graves of her dead ancestors as well as the more recent graves of her sister, brother, niece, father, uncle, and grandmother. In fact, the stone-brick family house perched above the notorious Milliken’s Hill, Ngwo, Enugu State, is believed to be a haunted mansion. 

So, death and the afterlife have always played a big part in Nuzo’s life, hence her fascination with ghost stories and the mysteries of reincarnation. She hopes to bring the rich and unique culture of the Igbo race to a wider audience, using the medium of horror and mystery. Lovers of the Japanese Kaidan Horror tradition will love The Reluctant Dead, which adopts the same thematic approach as Japanese horror.

Book Description:

The Reluctant Dead by Nuzo Onoh, is a collection of six ghost stories of African Origin. The stories are themed around revenge and unfinished business and are all set in Old Biafra, located in present day Nigeria. 


The first story, "The Follower", narrates the terrifying consequences that befall an apprentice morgue attendant when he fails to observe the bizarre night-time mortuary rules. He finds himself shadowed by a follower, the restless spirit of a murdered young woman. After trying numerous methods to shake loose his unwanted shadow, he finally succumbs to the traditional remedy he’s hitherto scorned and in the process, brings her killer to justice.

The second story, “A Good Student”, is set in the immediate aftermath of the Biafran/Nigerian civil war, when all forms of communication were down, save for the snail mail and mouth-to-mouth message systems. The story follows the life-long guilt of a man, Ndu, who betrays his best friend, John, in their school days. John is a good student who is killed in a motor accident on his way back to boarding school. But his restless spirit continues the fateful journey back to school, unaware that he is a ghost. He continues to see himself as an ordinary boy, a good student, trying to attain his academic goals… until the day he is confronted with the truth and his best friend, Ndu, is forced to make a terrible choice.

The third story in the collection, “Hadiza”, tells the story of a scorned wife, whose Moslem husband rejects for his African-American mistress, Latoya. Abandoned and humiliated, Hadiza falls into manic depression, eventually succumbing to lunacy and death. But she refuses to let her feckless husband and his new wife live in peace. Her restless ghost embarks on a terrifying haunting, that will eventually see the end of her rival.

The fourth story, “The Returned”, is themed around re-incarnation and manifestations and follows the strange experience of a young boy who is kidnapped before being saved by the ghost of a murdered woman, herself a mother of a young child and a former kidnap victim.

“Night-Flyer” is the fifth story in the collection and follows the astral flights of a young boy who tries to break the century-long curse of a vengeful ghost, whose only child was sold into slavery by the men in her clan. He is forced to confront the evil hag in a final battle that will result in a close family death and untold hardship and pain.

The final story, “The Names of Our Dead”, was first published in The Draft, an anthology of short stories (2011).  It tells the tragic story of a doomed village, where their dead refuse to stay buried, forming their own community and wreaking havoc on the villagers.

The Reluctant Dead is available now!

Her next book, Our Bones Shall Rise Again was published in April 2015
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