Season of Crimson Blossoms is an adult fiction debut novel by Nigerian writer and journalist Abubakar Adam Ibrahim. The novel, set largely in the outskirts of Abuja, Nigeria, depicts an unusual salacious affair between the 55-year old widow Hajiya Binta and the 26-year old drug dealer and local gang leader Reza.
The story is set in predominantly Northern Nigeria against the backdrop of violence in the author’s home city of Jos, Plateau State. The plot also spills into other parts of northern Nigeria, including the capital, Abuja; the story takes place roughly between 2009 and 2015. The story focuses on Binta Zubairu, a Muslim widow in her mid-50s who falls for Reza, a local political thug and drug lord in his early 20s. Binta, a survivor of violence that tore her family apart in her former home in Jos, sees in Reza not her murdered husband but her slain son Yaro. In turn, Reza, with an ailing father and a mother he last saw as a child, feels the undertow of parental warmth in his budding liaison with Binta. When they meet again and have sex, the dynamic feels incestuous to them, as Binta reminds Reza of his mother who abandoned him and he reminds her of her slain son, whom she could not address by his given name due to social norms.
In September 2016 the book was shortlisted for the Nigeria Prize for Literature, Africa’s biggest literary prize. On 12 October 2016, Ibrahim was announced as the winner for Season of Crimson Blossoms, beating Elnathan John’s Born on a Tuesday and past winner Chika Unigwe’s Night Dancer, the two other finalists from the initial 173 nominated books.
Have you read this Book?
If Yes, feel free to join us as we discuss it at the Book Club on the First Sunday in October.