Cosmic Whispers weaves together the memories of two intimate characters whose divine paths magically crossed on the Brazilian side of the Atlantic. Not only did these two characters cross paths, but two countries also collided: Brazil and Nigeria. Journeys to other lands and encounters with the magic of transcendent beauty despite the sting of death open new vistas of life. Reality and fantasy often collide through mystical fragments and protracted extensions of multivalent twilights. Dislocations and reencounters ultimately surrender to vibrant whispers. For we are whisperers. Yes, we are all whisperers seeking essences of our own mysterious inner harvests.
In the hands of an accomplished wordsmith, tragedy becomes threnodic beauty and prose takes on the affective luster of poetry. Afolabi’s love-song reconstitutes dreams and leaves the reader, not in the transitional abyss, but on the shores of hope. He invites us to a contemplative feast serving dream, love, and fate as vectors of the human condition. In sharing Lucia with us in munificent and incandescent language, Afolabi guarantees her transcendence. Lucia’s whispered message rings loud: seize the dream; sound the drum of passion. In its creative resistance against social death, Cosmic Whispers reminds us of Fred Moten’s Stolen Life. Afolabi’s resounding paean to love will stay with us for a long time.
—Cajetan Iheka, Professor of English, University of Alabama
Afolabi has given us a powerful and fascinating narration of youthful passage into adulthood that reminds one of Ayi Kwei Armah’s Two Thousand Seasons. Cosmic Whispers reads like a coping strategy for a lover in deep grief—mediated by this worthy celebration of a “woman for all seasons.” A powerful tale of overcoming the odds of life through genuine love and mutual dedication.
— Niyi Coker, Professor and Director, San Diego State University
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Niyi Afolabi is Professor of African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of The Golden Cage: Regeneration in Lusophone African Literature (2001), Afro-Brazilians: Cultural Production in a Racial Democracy (2009), Ilê Aiyê in Brazil and the Reinvention of Africa (2016), and numerous articles and edited volumes on transatlantic migration, the Yoruba in Brazil, and the African diaspora. He is currently working on a monograph on Afro-Brazilian identities.