An unusual Grief Yewande Omotoso


Paperback published by Cassava Republic Press 12th October 2021

How do you get to know your daughter when she is dead?

This is the question which takes a mother on a journey of sue,f-discovery. When her daughter Yinka dies, Mojisola is finally forced to stop running away from the difficulties in their relationship, and to come to terms with Yinka the woman.

Mojisola’s grief takes her from Cape Town to Johannesburg, as she moves into her daughter’s apartment and begins to unearth the life Yinka had built for herself there, away from her family. Stepping into Yinka’s red-heeled shoes, Mojisola finds her own dormant passion awakened, as she discovers what it means to carve a place for herself in the world, beyond the labels of wife and mother. A bold and unflinching tale of one woman’s unconventional approach to life and loss.

Extract from An Unusual Grief

Dear Prof and Mrs Owolabi,

My name is Zelda Petersen. I was your daughter’s landlady here at Grove Cresent, Midrand, Gauteng. I am sorry for your loss.I had expected someone to come by the flat but as I have not heard from you, I thought it appropriate to write. I have this physical address because it is the alternative address Yinka provided when we performed the security check. I hate to bring up anything unpleasant but some of Yinka’s things remain and I, as life dictates, am required to let the flat. Which brings me to another delicate matter. As per law the lease does not terminate on the passing of tenant ( Yinka). In fact her executor ( I assume that is you, her parents) is required to terminate the lease. Can you please do so, in writing, post haste. Monies owing ( for instance if you require that I courier her belongings) will be sent to this address in the form of an invoice, and I would appreciate prompt response. I apologise for interrupting your grief with these seemingly trivial matters. Thank you for taking the time to attend to my request.

Kind regards,

Zelda A Petersen


Yewande Omotoso trained as an architect. Her debut novel Bom Boy was shortlisted for the 2012 Sunday Times Fiction Prize in South Africa. Yewande was shortlisted for the 2013 Etisalat Prize for Literature. Her second novel, Woman Next Door, was longlisted for the 2017 Baileys Woman’s Prize for Fiction. In 2018, it was shortlisted for the International DUBLIN Literary Awards and finalist in the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Fiction. It has been translated into Catalan, Dutch, French, German. Italian and Korean. She currently lives in Johannesburg.

You can find Yewande Omotoso on Twitter

Link to by the paperback

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