Butter Honey Pig Bread

By (author) francesca ekwuyasi
Categories: Fiction: general and literary, Fiction and Related items
Publisher: Arsenal Pulp Press
Paperback : 9781551528236, 368 pages, September 2020


The acclaimed intergenerational saga about three Nigerian women—twin sisters, Kehinde and Taiye, and their mother—set across three continents: a novel about food, family, and forgiveness. | 2021 Canada Reads runner-up; longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize; finalist, Governor General’s Literary Award, Amazon First Novel Award, and Lambda Literary Award.


  • Short-listed, Canada Reads 2021
  • Long-listed, Scotiabank Giller Prize 2020
  • Short-listed, Lambda Literary Award 2021
  • Winner, Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ2S+ Emerging Writers 2022
  • Short-listed, Amazon First Novel Award 2021
  • Short-listed, Governor General's Literary Award 2021


It is a rare pleasure when a debut novel appears with such a fully realized, confident voice as Francesca Ekwuyasi's Butter Honey Pig Bread. -Quill and Quire ("Books of the Year")

In this remarkable debut novel, a family of Nigerian women attempt to carefully tiptoe around an unspeakable tragedy. Through masterfully crafted scenes full of sumptuous imagery, readers are moved, just as these characters are, by forces beyond their control, beyond their lifetimes. -Catherine Hernandez, author of Scarborough

The descriptions throughout the novel, from Taiye's cooking to the feel of Lagos to the urgency of new love, invite readers to
fully savor Ekwuyasi's language. Mixing emotional depth with supernatural elements, this is a masterful debut. -Booklist (STARRED REVIEW)

In this incandescent book, Francesca Ekwuyasi travels across continents and time to tell the story of an Ogbanje mother and her two estranged daughters in sensuous, mythic prose that pulled me into their interwoven narratives. Dissolution of spirit and mind, alienation, painful familial rifts, and queer desire reverberate through this gorgeous debut. Ekwuyasi's wondrous way with language is a profound gift. -Tanais, author of Bright Lines

Ekwuyasi's prose conjures up a particular energy and literary finesse reminiscent of Akwaeke Emezi's Freshwater. -The Puritan

In this remarkably assured debut, three women search to reconnect after an event tore them apart. It's sexy, too, and it'll make you hungry with all its talk of food. -The Globe and Mail ("Globe 100: Best Books of the Year")

A luminous talent reveals itself in debut novelist Francesca Ekwuyasi's Butter Honey Pig Bread. This intergenerational tale of three Nigerian women finding their way through a maze of love, memory, and trauma weaves a haunting spell over the reader from its very first word. Ekwuyasi's sensuous prose, deft plotting, and keen insights into human nature combine to form a vision that feels like peering deep into the souls of a trio of dear friends. At once delicious and heartbreaking, Butter Honey Pig Bread will leave the reader full, yet longing for more. -Kai Cheng Thom, author of I Hope We Choose Love

Francesca Ekwuyasi is a new and exciting voice, the kind of writer whose work both challenges and enlightens. With Butter Honey Pig Bread, she has written a deeply moving novel that explores trauma, healing, and the beautifully complex relationships between mothers and daughters with vivid honesty. This is an inspiring debut. -Zeba Blay, senior culture writer, Huffington Post

This multi-continental tale is alight with the force of its characters' sway between history and the present, home and country, family - chosen and otherwise. Where expectations of genre leave their own delicious signatures across fabulism, the folkloric, the strange, and a mercurial realism, the queerness and sensuality of this debut novel excites. Butter Honey Pig Bread roves taste-first through the ingredients of things that mark the modern, if enduring, currents of familial and amorous bonds by a writer of ample talent. -Canisia Lubrin, author of The Dyzgraphxst

Ekwuyasi's magical debut delves into the reverberating effects of a Nigerian mother's choices on her twin daughters' lives. The stories of Kambirinachi and her daughters, Taiye and Kehinde, unfold in lyrical, emotionally affecting parallel narratives . .. Written in sizzling prose, Ekwuyasi's assured, inspired debut will impress fans of Akwaeke Emezi. -Publishers Weekly (STARRED REVIEW)

Spanning decades, this fast-paced debut novel moves from Lagos to Montreal, Halifax, and London as it traces the sorrows and triumphs of a pair of estranged twin sisters and their troubled mother . .. The novel abounds with sex, death, and food - whose preparation offers these characters catharsis, knowledge, and sometimes simply pleasure. -The New Yorker