Nigerian Adebayo's Latest Novel Longlisted for Booker Prize 2023
Award-winning writer Ayobami Adebayo took the literary world by storm with her debut novel Stay With Me in 2017. Six years later, she has followed up with an equally brilliant second novel, A Spell of Good Things, which has been longlisted for the Booker Prize 2023, writes Sakiru Adebayo for The Conversation Africa.
Set in Osun State, the story revolves around two main characters: Eniola, a determined 16-year-old boy whose dreams are shattered by his father's retrenchment, and Wuraola, a resident doctor coerced into an abusive relationship due to her family's connections. Through their intertwined stories, the novel exposes the deep class divide within Nigerian society, highlighting how political elites perpetuate poverty and exploit the vulnerable for their own gain.
Her novel explores the corrosive effects of Nigeria's political corruption on ordinary and, especially, poor Nigerians. It shows how politicians keep the children of the masses out of school through their callous devastation of the education system, and then use these same impoverished high school and university dropouts to do their dirty political work.
The novel also offers an account of the intersecting and damaging consequences of class and gender subjugation in Nigeria today. It shows how the poor are forced to resort to violence and crime in order to survive, while the wealthy are able to use their power and privilege to exploit and abuse the poor.
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Ayobami Adebayo's new novel, A Spell of Good Things, has been longlisted for the Booker Prize 2023.