Irenosen Okojie, Butterfly Fish

Bethan Evans (The Nottingham Trent University)
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Butterfly Fish is Irenosen Okojie’s debut novel, published in 2015 by independent publishing house, Jacaranda. The novel won the Betty Trask Award in 2016, the same year that Jacaranda published Okojie’s second book – a collection of short stories called Speak Gigantular. Butterfly Fish largely follows the story of a young photographer based in present day London, Joy, while she mourns the recent death of her mother. Joy develops a mental illness after her mother’s passing which is fuelled by grief, substance-reliance, and loneliness, as well as her abusive boyfriend, Rangi. Delivered in the first-person, neither Joy nor her narrative is able to distinguish between what is real and what is imagined. Joy is haunted by a ghost, Anon, who takes her briefly into the nineteenth century…

1989 words

Citation: Evans, Bethan. "Butterfly Fish". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 22 January 2021 [, accessed 04 December 2023.]

38816 Butterfly Fish 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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