Chuka Nestor Emezue was born in Nigeria in 1988.
He currently hides in Columbia, Missouri, under the guise of a powerful academic by day and a brat-pack novelist by night.
His debut novel: ‘The Things That Tickle God’ captures the satirical eye-witnessing of a schizophrenic war correspondent covering an impressive Nigerian sectarian war.
The book follows the character’s comical sampling of religions, enchantment with dead infantrymen, a fractured masculinity, audio-visual hallucinations and – of course – a botched rapport with a god-peddling father. Why not? The novel attempts to correctly capture the colours, etiquette and quirks of divergent Nigerian peoples and cultures in the wake of the Boko Haram Radical Islamic sect circa 2009.
It should open and end terribly with fireworks and magic.
Having never taken a writing class, Chuka composes prose and transgressive poems outside the tenets of prescribed traditional writing methods and styles – he does not identify as a poet.
His literary curiosity breaches a menu of themes including: forced immigration, black consciousness, suicide & mental health, Ubuntu-ism (yes, really!), a good ole’ gumbo of -isms, including something called dirty realism, terrible fatherhood is not spared and the constantly serpentine concept of black masculinity makes a cameo, etc.
His supposed mentors – gods and dogs alike – span the fabric of sensible and senseless society, literary temperaments and skin tones; from the likes of Bukowski, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Fante, Nabokov, Achebe, Allende, Jhumpa Lahiri, Teju Cole and Chimamanda Ngozi-Adichie – among other such powerful recorders.
Chuka’s creative nonfictional writings as an academic underscores the in-flux premises of global public health and its nexus with the Humanities.
When Chuka is not channeling his inner Bukowski, you can find him failing badly at whipping up a decent pancake, dancing barefoot to African tunes or convincing a cousin across the Atlantic that Obama is – oddly enough – not a closet-Nigerian and does not, for the love of God, understand a lick of the Igbo language.
Author images for media use can be downloaded here (photo credit: Tim Nwachukwu/Chuka Nestor Emezue).
“A weekend novelist, among other such mighty sins.
These lines are my own undoing.
Faults in my humanity.
The rather unsophisticated ramblings of a lover of silence.
In this place I can take off clothes,
Expose my mind and forget debts – or so I fancy.
And from this simple fugue,
It remains my singular heart desire to evade among other sins,
Those saccharinic writers you occupy with,
For besides their painful fraudulence,
I dread even more,
The malady that comes from being a student of many masters;
So that now, I am driven to fondling instead
With the minds of only the most misplaced of souls,
The brat-pack types, the down and dirty fools,
Sons of forgotten mothers,
Whose composed works are not page turners
At least not to most. I am one of such.
A remarkably errant thing.
I am many things bad – never a Poet.”