When We Were Birds
by Ayanna Lloyd Banwo
A gorgeously immersive, mesmerising and life-affirming literary debut - a love story and a ghost story set in modern day Trinidad
Darwin is a down-on-his-luck gravedigger, newly arrived in the city of Port Angeles to seek his fortune, young and beautiful and lost. Estranged from his mother, he is convinced that the father he never met may be waiting for him somewhere amid these bustling streets. Meanwhile in an old house on a hill, Yejide's mother is dying. And she is leaving behind a legacy that now passes to Yejide: the power to talk to the departed. Darwin and Yejide's destinies are intertwined, and they will find one another in the ancient cemetery at the heart of the city, where trouble is brewing and destiny awaits...
Embedded with a timeless, mythic magic, and yet alive with a fresh, modern sensibility, this hypnotic literary debut is a masterpiece of rhythm, exuberance, heart, loss in cycle with renewal and darkness with light: a reckoning with a grief that runs back generations and a defiant, joyful affirmation of hope.
Page Count: 288 Pages
Imprint: Hamish Hamilton
Published: March 2022