Esinam Bediako

Esinam Bediako is a Ghanaian American writer from Detroit. She holds a BA in English from Columbia University, an MFA in Fiction from Sarah Lawrence College, and an MAT in Secondary English from University of Southern California. A finalist for the Porter House Review Editor’s Prize, the Frontier Global Poetry Prize, and North American Review’s Terry Tempest Williams Prize, Esinam has been a high school English teacher and administrator. Her most important job is editing the masterpieces of her two young sons, who create stories, poems, and videos with enviable speed and imagination. Esinam lives in Claremont, California with her family.

All Books

Blood on the Brain

Esinam Bediako

Publication Date: September 17, 2024

$18.95 Tradepaper

ISBN: 978-1-63628-180-3


An impulsive, madcap, and newly concussed young woman comes of age as she navigates her Ghanaian American identity, her relationships, and the muddled landscape of history, memory, imagination, and delusion.

Twenty-four-year-old Akosua is easily knocked off her feet. When she falls and hits her head, she’s too preoccupied with her latest dramas to fully absorb the shock. In the span of three months, she has broken up with her boyfriend Wisdom, discovered that her deadbeat dad has moved back to the States from Ghana, and dropped so many classes that she believes she’s the only history grad student in the history of grad students to be registered for just one partial-credit class. Instead of facing her problems, Akosua seeks distraction in Daniel, a “good Ghanaian man.” But as her head injury worsens, she questions whether she can continue to run away from her father any more than she can keep ignoring her brain and its traumas. Vibrant, funny, and bittersweet, Blood on the Brain is a novel about the complications of family, romance, and culture—and how coming of age can feel like a blow to the head.


Blood on the Brain is full of humor, honesty, and heart. I devoured this refreshing, engrossing look at the rocky road of familial and romantic relationships through the eyes of an unforgettable young woman protagonist. Akosua is my new niece in my head!”

Deesha Philyaw, author of The Secret Lives of Church Ladies

“Bediako is a promising new voice . . . with insight, subtlety, and power, she shows the complexities of race and identity in a voice that is refreshingly honest and accessible to anyone who has ever felt like an outsider. This book throbs with true vulnerability about the human need to belong. Her talent is undeniable; she is a writer to watch . . .”

Taylor Larsen, author of Stranger, Father, Beloved