Friday, September 01, 2017

'Stay With Me' by Ayobami Adebayo

1 September 2017

It was interesting to see ‘Yerma’ in the week I finished reading Ayobami Adebayo’s novel ‘Stay With Me’ (which I read as an unabridged audio book, narrated by Adjoa Andoh). This is another story of a couple’s desperation to have children – but in a very different context. Set in Nigeria in the 1980s and 1990s, ‘Stay With Me’ reveals a society which feels shockingly alien. The gender divide is stark, with polygamy the norm – and the reason for a husband to take multiple wives is entirely about providing the family with sufficient offspring. ‘Stay With Me’ tells its family saga through first person narration from the point of view of both Yejide and her husband Akin. It’s not a happy story – and it is set against a backdrop of military coups and armed robberies. But it provides a fascinating insight into what feels like a very old-fashioned, family focussed society but is actually a fairly recent period in Nigeria’s history.



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