Ayobami reacts to a comment by Ellah
Ayobami reacts to a comment by Ellah

Ayobami Adebayo casts a spell at launch of new book – Toni Kan

Ayobami Adebayo, author of the critically acclaimed Stay With Me, read to a full house of fans and literary enthusiasts on Wednesday, February 6, 2023, at Hatchards bookstore in Piccadilly,  London.

The event was held to commemorate the launch day of her new novel, A Spell of Good Things, and saw her in conversation with Ellah Wakatama Allfrey, literary godmother, editor, and head honcho at Cannongate, publishers of the new novel.

Ayobami and Ellah in conversation
Ayobami listens as Ellah frames a question

Ms. Adebayo who is embarking on a book tour of the UK, read from portions of the book to give the audience a sense of the new novel. Unlike the first which was set in 80s Nigeria, A Spell of Good Things is set at the dawn of the millennium in Nigeria getting to grips with a new democratic dispensation.

The novel according to The Guardian “deals with political corruption, social injustice and domestic violence with a big cast of characters, and is charged with an explosive satirical energy as it brings the personal and the political crashing together.”

Responding to a question about attitudes to marriage, Ayobami Adebayo while referring to Yeye, a character in the book, said women from the older generation seem to have a more pragmatic approach to marriage while younger women have the sense of going into a romantic love match.

The author who is married to writer and schoolmate, Emma Iduma, described herself as “first of all a reader” while noting that while she does not belong to a literary fraternity there are contemporary Nigerian and African writers she stays in touch with.

After the readings, Ayobami took questions from the audience responding to queries that riffed on language and transliteration for foreign audiences, the place of female characters in her work, the ubiquity of “the hospital” in both her debut and sophomore novels, as well as the importance of setting and locale in her works.

Book signing session
The evening ended with a book signing.


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