Skip to product information
1 of 2

Belt Publishing

The Minotaur at Calle Lanza

Regular price $19.95 USD
Regular price Sale price $19.95 USD
Sale Sold out

By Zito Madu

April 2, 2024

Consider ordering through Lofty Pigeon Books!

Venice, 2020. As a pandemic rages across the globe, Zito Madu finds himself in a nearly deserted city, its walls and basilicas humming with strange magic. As he wanders a haunted landscape, we see him twist further into his own past: his family’s difficult immigration from Nigeria to Detroit, his troubled relationship with his father, the sporadic joys of daily life and solitude, his experiences with migration, poverty, foreignness, racism, and his own rage and regret. But as it is with all labyrinths, after finding its center, will he come away unscathed, or will he transform into the gripping, fantastical monstrousness that’s out to consume him whole?

With nods to Italo Calvino and Jorge Luis Borges, this surrealist debut memoir takes us into the labyrinth of memory and the monsters lurking there.

Advance praise:

"Zito Madu’s quiet but mammoth The Minotaur at Calle Lanza beautifully eschews the woe-is-me platter. In an arresting prose style, he draws us through a merciless undulation of migration, paternal violence, class despair, and mental breakdown, while molding these into the stages of an inner reckoning and an expanding awareness of others. . . .  This is the most hopeful book I’ve read in a long while, and Zito Madu is a mighty writer." —Anakana Schofield, Bookpost

"Madu takes us on a dazzling ride worthy of not only Borges, but Kafka. His deep bag of tricks holds metaphysical imagery, plainspoken poetry, and trauma-fueled insight."Apple Books Review

"Cannot wait" Brittle Paper

*"Difficult to categorize but hauntingly effective. It has no fail-safe audience but will reward whoever picks it up." —David Keymer, Library Journal (STARRED REVIEW)

"From a small village in Nigeria, to the bustling streets of Venice, via the city of Detroit, Zito Madu’s The Minotaur at Calle Lanza is an engaging, even surreal, autobiographical account of travel and the spectacle and fear of the Other.  A brilliant debut." —Ben Carrington 

The Minotaur at Calle Lanza is stunningly paradoxical. The deeper you wander into the so-called monster’s labyrinth, the clearer and more affecting his entrapment becomes. With this debut, Madu masterfully entangles the quietude of the pandemic travelogue with the diasporic memoir without cliché, whose contents are equally candid in their curious introspection and romantic in their sensitivity and pictorial prose.” —Zoe Samudzi

"This book is mesmerizing. Embedding intimate memories of family and childhood amidst travels through Venice, The Minotaur at Calle Lanza is a transfixing meditation on violence, migration, and the terror of transformation. Subtle and penetrating, exquisitely written and deeply imaginative, this book will endure as a timeless story of one man’s odyssey." Michelle Kuo


Zito Madu was born in Nigeria and moved to the United States in 1998. He grew up in Detroit and now lives in Brooklyn, New York. His writing has been published in many publications, including Plough Quarterly, Victory Journal, GQ Magazine, the New Republic, and the Nation.


ISBN: 9781953368669 | Paperback | 5X7 | 185 pages | $19.95

  • Special Offers and Discounts

    Keep up with the newest title, sales, and events (plus the occasional meme) from Belt Publishing by signing up for our newsletter. It’s only once a week—no cluttering up your inbox.