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Shirlene Obuobi

Connection to Illinois: Obuobi currently lives in Chicago, where she is completing her cardiology fellowship.

Biography: Shirlene Obuobi is a Ghanaian-American physician, artist, cartoonist, and author who grew up in Chicago, Illinois, Hot Springs, Arkansas and The Woodlands, Texas. When she’s not in the hospital (and let’s be honest, even when she’s in it), she can be found drawing comics, writing on her phone, and obsessing over her three cats.

  • On Rotation: A Novel Illinois Reads Book Selection, Illinois Reading Council, 2024

Primary Literary Genre(s): Fiction

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers


Selected Titles

On Rotation: A Novel
ISBN: 0063209144 OCLC: 1268983458

Avon 2022

In this dazzling debut novel, Shirlene Obuobi explores that time in your life when you must decide what you want, how to get it, & who you are, all while navigating love, friendship, and the realization that the path you’re traveling is going to be a bumpy ride. Ghanaian-American Angela Appiah has checked off all the boxes for the “Perfect Immigrant Daughter.” Enroll in an elite medical school Snag a suitable lawyer/doctor/engineer boyfriend Surround self with a gaggle of successful and/or loyal friends But then it quickly all falls apart: her boyfriend dumps her, she bombs the most important exam of her medical career, and her best friend pulls away. And her parents, whose approval seems to hinge on how closely she follows the path they chose, are a lot less proud of their daughter. It’s a quarter life crisis of epic proportions. Angie, who has always faced her problems by working “twice as hard to get half as far,” is at a loss. Suddenly, she begins to question everything: her career choice, her friendships, even why she's attracted to men who don't love her as much as she loves them. And just when things couldn’t get more complicated, enter Ricky Gutierrez—brilliant, thoughtful, sexy, and most importantly, seems to see Angie for who she is instead of what she can represent. Unfortunately, he’s also got “wasteman” practically tattooed across his forehead, and Angie’s done chasing mirages of men. Or so she thinks. For someone who’s always been in control, Angie realizes that there’s one thing she can’t plan on: matters of her heart.