Maya Binyam


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Longlisted for Women's Prize in Fiction 2024

A man returns home to sub-Saharan Africa after twenty-six years living in exile in America. When he arrives, he finds that he doesn't recognize the country or anyone in it. Thankfully, someone at the airport knows him-a man who calls him brother. As they travel to this man's house, the purpose of his visit comes into focus: he is here to find his real brother, who is dying. In Hangman, Maya Binyam tells the story of this twisted odyssey, and of the phantoms and tricksters, aid workers and taxi drivers, the relatives, riddles and strangers that lead this man along a circuitous path towards the truth. Hangman is an uncommonly assured debut: a strangely honest story of one man's stubborn search for refuge - in this world and the one that lies beyond it.

'Hangman is a subtle and peculiar novel about subtle and peculiar things - home, exile, injustice, family, return, and life itself. Binyam has written a remarkable book - one that builds, beautifully, a world that feels true, while dismantling the world that feels real' - Keith Ridgway, author of A Shock

'A strikingly masterful debut. With a slow, sure hand, Hangman beckons you into a zone that at first seems as clear, as blank, and as eerily sunny as the pane of a window. Then it traps you there, until you notice the blots, bubbles, and fissures in the glass-and then the frame itself, then the shatter. A clean, sharp, piercing-and deeply political-novel' - Namwali Serpell, author of The Furrows

'Daring, intellectually rich, and unsettlingly hilarious, Hangman is the rare book agile enough to balance the surreality and painfully rigid actuality of life. We have a powerful new voice in Maya Binyam, one who knows how to make a story sing.' - Alexandra Kleeman, author of Something New Under the Sun

'Hangman is a gripping story of homecoming and loss, of recuperation and letting go, all of it told in a voice that is at turns ruthlessly honest and startlingly beautiful. Maya Binyam is an immensely gifted writer and every page of this deeply moving novel offers us compelling and hard-earned truths. But what remains by the end is something that resembles a loving gesture from a long-lost relative: necessary and seismic, profound and unforgettable' - Maaza Mengiste, author of the Booker Prize-shortlisted The Shadow King

'Maya Binyam exquisitely captures unseen forces: the edges of consciousness, abstract political forces, and how they act on one another. Hangman is immersive and astonishing' - Tavi Gevinson

'Maya Binyam's controlled blend of surreal whimsy and unsettling existential dread makes this a remarkably assured and distinctive debut' -TLS

Format/pages: hardback / 208 pages

ISBN: 9781911590774

Publisher: Pushkin Press

Year: 2023

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