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The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives


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'A rich debut... an engrossing and beautifully written domestic tale of polygamy and rivalry' Harpers Bazaar

About the Author

Lola Shoneyin has published three collections of poems. The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives is her debut novel. Having lived in London and the South East for several years, Shoneyin has recently moved to Abuja, Nigeria, and teaches drama and English at a local school.


A Rabelaisian picture of polygamous marriage,comically capturing the physical realities of ordinary Nigerian life. -- Giles Foden
A funny and moving story told with love and compassion ... a jewel of a novel -- Petina Gappah
Riotous... this debut novel is a real eye-opener: a deft, compelling and unsettling tale. -- Ailin Quinlan * Irish Examiner *
This deft, lightly spun story packs quite a punch. Shoneyin's unravelling of a family is rooted in and flavoured by Nigeria, but speaks more widely. It is a book you'll want to eat in a sitting - and then start again -- Diran Adebayo
This first novel is a compelling, unsettling tale of a polygamous household and the women within Baba Segi's walls. Shoneyin's sharply written portrait of a family and a nation gripped by the past, yet surging into modernity, manages to be funny, disconcerting and violent all at once. An utterly gripping read. -- Patricia Duncker
A rich debut... an engrossing and beautifully written domestic tale of polygamy and rivalry set in her native Nigeria. * Harper's Bazaar *
Riveting... a truly compelling tale... -- Davina Morris * The Voice *
An engrossing portrayal of a polygamous household... a rich portrait of a family on the verge of collapse. -- Yasmin Sulaiman * The List *
An insightful and compelling tale set within a polygamous household * Pride *
A novel of clamorous intensity. With such Chaucerian tumult, one expects comedy and there is certainly some humour here, but much pain too... Shoneyin's language is that of a poet, both extravagant and exact... Well-structured and with a gratifying resolution. -- Jane Housham * Guardian *
Exquisitely written... Shoneyin's prose is by turns violent, evocative, witty, humane and gripping. -- Danuta Kean * Mslexia *
A bodacious first novel -- Bernadine Evaristo * Wasafiri *

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