“Stay with me,” the debut novel of Ayobami Adebayo, made it to the 2018 Wellcome Book Prize longlist.
The Wellcome Book Prize is an annual award, open to new works of fiction or non-fiction. It celebrates the many ways in which literature can illuminate the breadth and depth of our relationship with health, medicine and illness.
Ayobami’s book is one of the twelve books that made it to this year’s Wellcome longlist and is entitled to the prize of £30,000, if she wins.
This Nigerian debut is the heart-breaking tale of what wanting a child can do to a person, a marriage and a family; a powerful and vivid story of what it means to love not wisely but too well.
Yejide is hoping for a miracle, for a child. It is all her husband wants, all her mother-in-law wants, and she has tried everything – arduous pilgrimages, medical consultations, appeals to God. But when her relatives insist upon a new wife, it is too much for Yejide to bear. It will lead to jealousy, betrayal and despair.
Unravelling against the social and political turbulence of 1980s Nigeria, ‘Stay With Me’ sings with the voices, colours, joys and fears of its surroundings. Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ weaves a devastating story of the fragility of married love, the undoing of family, the wretchedness of grief, and the all-consuming bonds of motherhood. It is a tale about our desperate attempts to save ourselves and those we love from heartbreak.
Some of the reviews on her book says,
“It covers life, loss and tragedy, and our desperation for a happy ending made it difficult to put it down.”
“A thoroughly contemporary style that is all her own … clever and funny … Despite the intense sadness of her subject matter, she has produced a bright, big-hearted demonstration of female spirit, as well as the damage done by the boundlessness of male pride.”