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The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives
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The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives (Paperback)

Usually despatched within 2 days.


To the dismay of her ambitious mother, Bolanle marries into a polygamous family, where she is the fourth wife of a rich, rotund patriarch, Baba Segi. She is a graduate and therefore a great prize, but even graduates must produce children and her husband's persistent bellyache is a sign that things are not as they should be. Bolanle is too educated for the 'white garment conmen' Baba Segi would usually go to for fertility advice, so he takes her to hospital to discover the cause of her barrenness.

Weaving the voices of Baba Segi and his four competing wives into a portrait of a clamorous household of twelve, Lola Shoneyin evokes an extraordinary Nigerian family in splashes of vibrant colour.

Fiction & PoetryModern & contemporary fiction post c 1945 Publisher: Profile Books Ltd Publication Date: 06/01/2011 ISBN-13: 9781846687495  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
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Lola Shoneyin has published three collections of poems and a children's book. The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives is her debut novel. In 2014 she was named on the Hay Festival's Africa39 list of 39 Sub-Saharan African writers aged under 40. Shoneyin is the director of Ake Arts and Book Festival. She lives in Lagos, Nigeria.

More books by Lola Shoneyin

Customer Reviews

Funny, grim, painful and wry. Shoneyin's writing is unassuming, unpretentious, with moments of luxuriance. She has a fine ear for the idiosyncrasies and absurdities of speech styles and idioms, conveying much about her characters through ostensibly little. A compelling, highly accomplished, intelligent and emotionally alert novel.

- 30/01/2016
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Baba Segi is a building materials merchant whose wives and children are his pride and joy. When his fourth wife fails to conceive after two years of marriage, Baba Segi begins to worry. University graduate, Bolanle is Baba Segi’s trophy wife who married him in a bid to escape a past that haunts her. Her arrival does not sit well with the Alaos as the other wives are threatened by and suspicious of her education. Unknown to Bolanle, her presence in the Alao house is set to expose secrets the other wives are determined to keep hidden. Lola Shoneyin’s writing style is unique and is a refreshing mix of prose and drama with well-thought-out and engaging dialogue. Each chapter has a title and is narrated by one of the characters so she is able to tell many stories concurrently and we get a picture of what each character is like and where they come from.

- 15/06/2015
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