Abubakar Adam Ibrahim’s Forthcoming Novel When We Were Fireflies Out in 2023

A new novel by Abubakar Adam Ibrahim is in the works. The title of the novel is When We Were Fireflies. It will be published in 2023 by Austrian indie press Residenz Verlag and Masobe Books based in Lagos, Nigeria.

When We Were Fireflies is described in Publisher’s Marketplace as a “lavishly told novel, the lively portrait of a society torn between tradition and modernity.” In an email note to Brittle Paper, Ibrahim explains that the novel is “about a Nigerian artist who goes hunting for the people he believes murdered him in a previous life.” This is his second novel.

The brief description above shows that it continues in his signature style of blending of fantasy and realist elements.


Ibrahim is a well-known Nigerian novelist. He was born in Jos, Nigeria. His short story “Echoes of Mirth” is featured in the celebrated Africa39 collection edited by Ellah Wakatama. In 2016, his debut novel Season of Crimson Blossoms won Africa’s richest prize, the 100,000 USD Nigeria Prize for Literature. He is the author of two short story collections and is currently pursuing a graduate degree in journalism at the University of Iowa.

Congrats to Ibrahim on the new title!

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