Canongate acquires Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀’s “A Spell of Good Things”

Canongate has said it will publish “A Spell of Good Things”, the latest novel by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀.

Adébáyọ̀, who is the author of Stay with Me, which won the 9Mobile Prize for Literature and Prix Les Afriques, said she began thinking about this novel in 2013 after a detour compelled her to realise what remained invisible to her in a town she had long called home.

“While it has taken a few years to write a novel I hope illuminates the tangled longings of its characters, I’m excited to share it with readers next year. It’s such a delight to work with Ellah and the lovely team at Canongate again. I continue to be pleased by the care and enthusiasm with which they published Stay with Me,” Adébáyọ̀ said.

The story follows the lives of Eniola, Wuraola and their relatives, tracing the entwined fates of two families in a Nigerian city: one with all the fortune in the world, and one that cannot catch a break.

Ellah Wakatama, editor-at-large at Canongate, said it acquired world rights, excluding North America and Nigeria, in the novel by Clare Alexander at Aitken Alexander. Knopf will publish in the US alongside Canongate in June 2022, with German rights also already sold to Piper.

Wakatama added: “Ayọ̀bámi’s debut novel, Stay with Me, captured readers all over the world. It was a novel of promise and ambition, and it is such a joy to be publishing her second book, A Spell of Good Things, a novel about family secrets and bonds, thwarted hope, and the brutal realities of life in a society rife with inequality that will resonate with a wide range of readers. It’s a book that more than fulfils that early promise and establishes Adébáyọ̀ as a writer who can confidently claim a place as a rising global literary star.”

Stay with Me was shortlisted for the Baileys Prize for Women’s Fiction, the Wellcome Book Prize and the Kwani? Manuscript Prize. It was also longlisted for the International Dylan Thomas Prize and the International Dublin Literary Award.

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