Stay with Me: A novel (Hardcover)
Yejide and Akin are a young couple who want, more than anything else, to have a child. But no matter what they try, from modern medicine to traditional practices, a child does not come. Finally Akin’s parents provide a solution that Yejide swore never to accept: a second wife. As tragedy strikes and their world collapses around them, only a fierce and desperate love keeps them afloat. This is a story of disturbing secrets, intergenerational conflict, and an unraveling marriage set against the backdrop of an increasingly unstable Nigeria. With sharp dialogue and thrilling momentum, this is an excellent debut from a rising Nigerian literary star. -Justin— From Fall Booknotes 2017
A New York Times Notable Book
The New York Times’ Critics’ Top Books of the Year
Named a Best Book of the Year by San Francisco Chronicle, National Public Radio, The Economist, Buzzfeed, Paste Magazine, Southern Living, HelloGiggles, and Shelf Awareness
Huffington Post’s Best Feminist Books of the Year
The New York Post’s Most Thrilling and Fascinating Books of the Year
The New York Public Library’s Ten Best Books of the Year
"A stunning debut novel." —Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
This celebrated, unforgettable first novel (“A bright, big-hearted demonstration of female spirit.” –The Guardian), shortlisted for the prestigious Women's Prize for Fiction and set in Nigeria, gives voice to both husband and wife as they tell the story of their marriage--and the forces that threaten to tear it apart.
Yejide and Akin have been married since they met and fell in love at university. Though many expected Akin to take several wives, he and Yejide have always agreed: polygamy is not for them. But four years into their marriage--after consulting fertility doctors and healers, trying strange teas and unlikely cures--Yejide is still not pregnant. She assumes she still has time--until her family arrives on her doorstep with a young woman they introduce as Akin's second wife. Furious, shocked, and livid with jealousy, Yejide knows the only way to save her marriage is to get pregnant. Which, finally, she does--but at a cost far greater than she could have dared to imagine. An electrifying novel of enormous emotional power, Stay With Me asks how much we can sacrifice for the sake of family.
About the Author
AYOBAMI ADEBAYO's stories have appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies, and one was highly commended in the 2009 Commonwealth short story competition. She holds BA and MA degrees in literature in English from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife, and has worked as an editor for Saraba Magazine since 2009. She also has an MA in creative writing from the University of East Anglia, where she was awarded an international bursary for creative writing. She has received fellowships and residencies from Ledig House, Sinthian Cultural Centre, Hedgebrook, Ox-Bow School of Art, Ebedi Hills and the Siena Art Institute. She was born in Lagos, Nigeria.
Shortlisted for the 2017 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction
"[A] stunning debut novel…. At once, a gothic parable about pride and betrayal; a thoroughly contemporary—and deeply moving—portrait of a marriage; and a novel, in the lineage of great works by Chinua Achebe and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie…. Adebayo, who is 29, is an exceptional storyteller. She writes not just with extraordinary grace but with genuine wisdom about love and loss and the possibility of redemption. She has written a powerfully magnetic and heartbreaking book." —Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
"A bright, big-hearted demonstration of female spirit, as well as the damage done by the boundlessness of male pride." —The Guardian
“Ayobami Adebayo’s taut, intimate debut novel, Stay with Me... careens backward and forward in time against a backdrop of politics, protests, crime and civil unrest... Close to Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies…. Conveyed with an operatic intensity that almost approaches the pitch of Elena Ferrante’s The Days of Abandonment.” —Anita Felicelli, The San Francisco Chronicle
“Stunning…. A work of intimate yet powerful—and even, at times, shocking—storytelling that will grow your sensitivity chip and make your world bigger, too.” —ELLE
“An absolute must-read and a story that will be shared for many decades to come.” —Emma Roberts, Refinery29
“Beautiful… Phenomenal… A layered story of love, sacrifice and hope… Adebayo’s debut is undoubtedly one of the best reads of this year.” —Lihle Z. Mtshali, Essence.com