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Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo has made New York Times’ list of 100 notable books of 2017.  It is the only Nigerian book to be on the list of notable poetry, non-fiction and fiction,  which was carefully selected by the editors of New York Book review.


This début novel is a portrait of a marriage in Nigeria beginning in the politically tumultuous 1980s. The novel centres around Yejide, who is desperate to own a child, she goes through many experiences. In Nigeria, where it is indeed a tragedy for one to remain barren.

 According to The Guardian, the author, Ayobami Adebayo was tutored by both Margaret Artwood and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.Ayobami Adebayo

Adebayo has a BA and MA degree in English Literature at Obafemi Awolowo University and, a Master’s degree in Creative Writing (MA Prose Fiction) at the University of East Anglia. She has a clever and funny take on domestic life and the Nigerian society which she adds to her country’s burgeoning literary scene.

Despite the tragedy that flows through her subject matter, Adebayo has demonstrated through her protagonist, Yejide,  a representation of a bright, big-hearted demonstration of female spirit as well as the damage done by the boundlessness of male pride.

Ayobami Adebayo
Guardian News

“Iya ni Wura”, “Mother is golden”, a song Yejide was made to sing at a Mothering service held in the Anglican Church she attended as a child, is a motif that runs through the narrative. It underlines her desperate attempts to get pregnant, and the subsequent agonies of loss.

The choice of the political era 1980 ‘s for the novel’s timeline, is as a result of a shift, as observed by the author, where military leaders were no longer apologetic, a moment of awakening, as writers began to speak up, as people understood that they were empowered to speak up against the ills of the government.

The language use is simple, very detailed, as words from the novel appear like they were translated from indigenous Yoruba to British English giving it a lush novel filled with imagery captured by the diction.

Stay With Me is indeed a must read for all, as its plot leaves you with thirst from the very first line till you quench it with the last line of the book. We are proud of its early achievement, as the novel was published on the 2 March 2017, we hope it would be adopted into schools, universities’ curriculums.

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This article was first published on 29th November 2017


Adepeju Adenuga is a writer (considering where you are reading this, makes perfect sense). She holds a Masters Degree in Literature in English from the University of Lagos.

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