“If the burden is too much and stays too long, even love bends, cracks, comes close to breaking”
Shortlisted for the 2017 Baileys Prize, this Nigerian debut is the heart-breaking tale of what wanting a child can do to a person, a marriage and a family
SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2017 BAILEYS WOMEN’S PRIZE FOR FICTION
LONGLISTED FOR THE 2018 INTERNATIONAL DYLAN THOMAS PRIZE
LONGLISTED FOR THE 2018 WELLCOME BOOK PRIZE
NEW YORK TIMES 100 NOTABLE BOOKS OF 2017
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. But when her relatives insist upon a new wife, it is too much for Yejide to bear.
Unravelling against the social and political turbulence of 1980s Nigeria, Stay With Me is a story of the fragility of married love, the undoing of family, the power of grief, and the all-consuming bonds of motherhood. It is a tale about the desperate attempts we make to save ourselves, and those we love, from heartbreak.
“Scorching, gripping, ultimately lovely”
See more reviews
“This terrific first novel (shortlisted for the Baileys women’s prize for fiction) deals with the daily stresses of living with the political upheavals of the time but the real drama is happening in Yejide’s womb. Adebayo unfolds the many layers of truth with insight and skill”
“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”
“Has a remarkable emotional resonance and depth of field [ … Adebayo] 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”
new York Times
“One of the must-reads books of the year so far: Stay With Me has it all, including big themes of love, grief and jealousy, a fantastic female protagonist plus it reads like a page-turning thriller”
Ayobami Adebayo’s stories have appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies, and one was highly commended in the 2009 Commonwealth Short Story Prize. She holds BA and MA degrees in Literature in English from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife. 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 been the recipient of fellowships and residencies from Ledig House, Hedgebrook, Sinthian Cultural Institute, Ebedi Hills, Ox-Bow School of Arts and Siena Art Institute. She was born in Lagos, Nigeria. In 2017, her debut novel Stay With Me was shortlisted for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction.
A rundown of the Baileys Prize shortlist from Simon Savidge of Savidge Reads. “My number one choice has to be Stay With Me. I absolutely adore this book from start to finish, I think it’s incredible.”
Jen Campbell reviews this year’s Baileys shortlist. “The book I enjoyed the most, and would love to see win is Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo.”