A triumph of a book... an explosive portrait of Nigeria that will blow your mind—in prose that feels so alive it practically vibrates off the page.”

- Lidia Yuknavitch, author of The Chronology of Water




In the bustling streets and cloistered homes of Lagos, a cast of vivid characters—some haunted, some defiant—navigate danger, demons, and love in a quest to lead true lives.


As in Nigeria, vagabonds are those whose existence is literally outlawed: the queer, the displaced, the footloose and rogue spirits. They are those who inhabit transient spaces, who make their paths and move invisibly, who embrace apparitions, old vengeances and alternative realities. Eloghosa Osunde’s brave, fiercely inventive novel traces a wild array of characters for whom life itself is a form of resistance: a driver for a debauched politician with the power to command life and death; a legendary fashion designer who gives birth to a grown daughter; a lesbian couple whose tender relationship sheds unexpected light on their experience with underground sex work; a wife and mother who attends a secret spiritual gathering that shifts her world; a transgender woman and the groundbreaking love of her mother. As their lives intertwine—in bustling markets and underground clubs, churches and hotel rooms—vagabonds are seized and challenged by spirits who command the city’s dark energy. Whether running from danger, meeting with secret lovers, finding their identities, or vanquishing their shadowselves, Osunde’s characters confront and support one another, before converging for the once-in-a-lifetime gathering that gives the book its unexpectedly joyous conclusion.
Blending unvarnished realism with myth and fantasy, Vagabonds! is a vital work of imagination that takes us deep inside the hearts, minds, and bodies of a people in duress—and in triumph.


VAGABONDS! offers a dazzling, hypnotic portrait of lives lived on the margins. Through Eloghosa Osunde’s supreme imagination, the binary of reality and fantasy is shattered in poetic, kaleidoscopic color. In the roots of the city of Lagos, and at the pith of its most resilient characters, remains an unfettered truth: there is community even – especially – for the displaced, and in the struggle of outsiders lives the most radical potential for hope.’ 

-T Kira Madden, author of Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls

VAGABONDS!  is a feast of a book, a marvellous ode to spirits and outsiders that is irreverent (and painfully funny) while being serious enough to drill a hole in one’s chest. I feel a fury here—a comforting fury, an I-see-you fury. There is nothing in the world like this book.

- Lesley Arimah, author of What It Means When A Man Falls From The Sky

A triumph of a book. In Vagabonds! you will discover queer people finding ways to love each other in a society that outlaws queerness, and an explosive portrait of Nigeria that will blow your mind—in prose that feels so alive it practically vibrates off the page. A masterpiece.

- Lidia Yuknavitch, author of The Chronology of Water

Full of surprising, tender, biting language, Eloghosa Osunde’s VAGABONDS! sets a stage where gods play personal games with human lives. For its shapeshifting images, for its honesty, for the opportunity to sit with joy and discomfort – both necessary mortal things – this novel astounded me’ 

- Dantiel W. Moniz, author of Milk Blood Heat


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