Written by Rosemary Esehagu, The Looming Fog is a novel about an intersex child and a girl who wants to be a healer. They must find their identity in a rural African community with rigid gender roles.

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Rosemary Esehagu is a published poet and the author of The Looming Fog—her debut novel. She is a native Nigerian who currently lives in Texas. She has published poems and other nonfiction works in different venues. She loves to dance and explore people's minds. Her blog is called the “Paradoxical Chameleon.”

A selection of her published poems include:

When you Shrink Your Circle, published by Elephant Journal.

The Flytrap Door, published by Plum Recruit Magazine

The Game of Hearts, published by A Little Poetry

Changing Times: A Collection of Poems, published by African Writer Magazine

Serenity Calls to the City, published by Elephant Journal


The looming Fog is a 2020 Page Turner Award Finalist.

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The Looming Fog: a Novel about Weakening the Fear Monster.

My book, The Looming Fog, was published in June 2006. It is a story with two main characters. The first is an intersex child trying to find their place, and the second is a female child who is not content with her position in her society.

When I first conceived The Looming Fog, I did not know of the seriousness of the journey it would take me on. The journey was into the lives of others and into myself. Like all books, it introduces you to many new lives. The book talks about some unpopular topics; some people have even called it “controversial.” And I suppose it is controversial, as is anything that calls for a critical look at the status quo. But I do not believe the book is exigent in its call for a change; it simply asks one to see the effect of the status quo.

Through writing this book, I have learned a lot about myself, about my thoughts, my ideas, and my opinions, and I have developed some new convictions. Above all, I have learned to be true to myself and to never forget that one fact that binds us all together: no matter who we are, what we are, where we are, or how we are, we are all humans and we deserve to be treated as such. Anything less than this fact is inhumane and is the worst and lowest kind of primitive.

Very so often, we categorize people, and we do need these categories for organizing our everyday living. However, we have become so obsessed with categorizing, so addicted to it, that anything without a category immediately provokes the fear monster within us. There is nothing wrong with categories; they make us feel comfortable; they help us define our selves. But…yes, there is a but. Sometimes we have used these categories against each other. No, many times we have used these categories as a permanently fogged eyeglass, blinding us eternally to the fact that the persons next to us, different in whatever way they are, are most importantly like us in that they are human. Our humanity never leaves us because we are different, even if we are different in a bad way. Sadly, we have used our categories to determine who can be treated humanely and who cannot. Some categories have become the corrupt judge that decides whose person’s life is worthy, worthy to be meaningful. It is time to take off this damaged eyeglass. It is time to see ourselves in each other.

The Looming Fog is about categories, the potentially dividing monster that we welcome, uncritically, into our midst. The book begs that we reconcile our need for categories with our use for them; that is, we should not abuse them. Categories can be the pillars of our society, but like an earthquake, they can also shatter us into bits, making us more and more alienated from one another. Consequently, the next time we look at a mirror, all we would see is someone on the other side of us, instead of simply “us.”

Writing this book has not been the easiest of things. I can even say that it is one of the most challenging things I have done to date (trying to live a Christian life definitely earns first place). I have cried, I have laughed, and I have taken my mind to places I did not even know I could go. You will notice my use of birth metaphors like “conceive” and “born”. This is because this book is like a child to me. It went through a gestational phase, growing to different stages, preparing itself for the life (outside of me, outside of my influences) that it is going to take on.

Books, unlike other children, mature the day they are born. They leave home, ready to face the world, to get their share of scars and laughs. Then maybe, just maybe, one day they will develop wings and fly back home to say:

“I once was lost and confused. I once was misunderstood. People lost their eyes for me, and then I too could not see. But I screamed and then I cried, and then someone recognized my voice. Someone echoed it. Then someone else screamed of joy and hope, and I echoed that. Now I have found my voice, and I am heard. My eyes can now see, and I am seen. I come home at peace with my scars and my laughs. I am home, at last. Let me tell you what I have seen and heard.”

Rosemary Esehagu

She is a published poet and the author of The Looming Fog: a Novel. Her blog called Paradoxical Chameleon can be found here.

Visit Esehagu's Blog: Paradoxical Chameleon


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