Nigerian author and playwright Sefi Atta launched her latest Novel ‘The Bead Collector’ in Camden, London.
Sefi is a prize-winning writer and novelist. A former chartered accountant and CPA, she is a graduate of the creative writing program at Antioch University, Los Angeles.
Her short stories have appeared in journals like Los Angeles Review and Mississipi Review and have won prizes from Zoetrope and Red Hen Press.
Her radio plays have been broadcast by the BBC. She is the winner of PEN International’s 2004/2005 David TK Wong Prize and in 2006, her debut novel Everything Good Will Come was awarded the inaugural Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa.
Her short story collection, Lawless, received the 2009 Noma Award For Publishing in Africa. Lawless is published in the US and UK as News From Home.
She lives in Mississippi with her husband Dr. Gboyega Ransome-Kuti, Fela’s nephew.
Synopsis of the ‘Bead Collector’
Lagos, January 1976, six years after the Nigerian Civil War. A new military regime has been in power for six months, but rumors are spreading that a countercoup is imminent. At an art exhibition in the affluent Ikoyi neighborhood, Remi Lawal, a Nigerian woman who runs her own greeting-card shop, meets Frances Cooke, who introduces herself as an American art dealer, in Nigeria to buy rare beads. They become friends and over the next few weeks confide in each other about their aspirations, loyalties, marriage, motherhood—and Nigeria itself, as hospitable Remi welcomes the enigmatic Frances into her world.
With her signature subtlety and wit, Sefi Atta examines a brief but profound friendship, and one Nigerian mother’s yearning—amid legacies of conflict and uncertainty—to help build her country from home.
‘Sefi Atta brings to exhilarating life the textures, rhythms and byzantine subtexts of this complex society. It’s been a long time since I felt so powerfully immersed in a novel.’—Claire Messud, author of The Woman Upstairs.
Contributed by Bimbola Babarinde