Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 5,000 African literature enthusiasts!
Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our "Guide to African Novels."

The winner of the 2017 Baileys Prize will be announced tomorrow, 7 June, and Nigeria’s Ayobami Adebayo, who is shortlisted for her debut novel Stay with Me, is the bookmakers’ second favourite to win. At 29, Ayobami is the youngest author on the shortlist, and if she wins, she will become the second African to do so.

According to The Bookseller, bookmakers William Hill’s latest odds have placed British author Naomi Alderman in pole position to take the prize for her fourth novel The Power. Alderman’s chances are at 9/4. Ayobami’s stand at 5/2.

The six shortlisted novels.

In third place, with her second novel The Sport of Kings, is American author C.E. Morgan at 5/1. In joint fourth place, at 6/1 odds, are Britain’s Gwendoline Riley for her fifth novel First Love and Canada’s Madeleine Thien for her third novel Do Not Say We Have Nothing. At 7/1, William Hill’s fifth favourite is the 2000 winner of the prize Linda Grant for her sixth novel The Dark Circle.

Ayobami might be second favourite but she has immediate history on her side: In 2016, the bookies’ favourite was Anne Enright’s The Green Road but the prize went to Lisa McInerney’s The Glorious Heresies which was the second favourite. However, the only time an African won the prize—Chimamanda Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun in 2007—she had been the favourite.

Stay with Me is one of the most praised novels of the year. The Guardian calls it “a bright, big-hearted demonstration of female spirit.” Daily Mail says it “packs a tremendous punch” and describes Ayobami as “hotly-tipped.” The Times (UK) details how it “unfolds the many layers of truth with insight and skill.” Mail on Sunday hails its “deceptively simple prose.” ELLE (UK) calls it a “closely observed, heartbreaking and original tale of the desperate attempts we make to save ourselves from severing the very bonds that make us.” Here is a synopsis from Stay with Me‘s publishers Penguin Random House:

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.

Founded in 1996 as the Orange Prize for Fiction, the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction is awarded to the best novel by a woman in a given year. The winner will take home £30,000 and a limited edition bronze statue known as The Bessie, created by the artist Grizel Niven. The ceremony will take place in The Clore Ballroom of the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, central London.

At Brittle Paper, we are excited at the real possibility of Ayobami winning. We wish her the best of luck tomorrow. We hope she wins.

Tags: , , ,

About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young is a writer, journalist, & Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. The recipient of the inaugural The Future Awards Prize for Literature in 2019, he sits on the judging panels of The Miles Morland Writing Scholarships and of The Gerald Kraak Prize. He is Nonfiction Editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective, which has published volumes including We Are Flowers (2017) and The Inward Gaze (2018). He is Curator at The Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies of writing and visual art focusing on different aspects of Nigerianness, including Enter Naija: The Book of Places (2016), which explores cities, and Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (2017), which explores professions. His work in queer equality advocacy in literature has been profiled in Literary Hub. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He has completed a collection of short stories, You Sing of a Longing, is working on a novel, and is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He has an M.A. in African Studies and a combined honours B.A. in History & International Studies/English & Literary Studies, both from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He taught English in a private Nigerian university. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts writing and editing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze. When bored, he Googles Rihanna.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Welcome to Brittle Paper, your go-to site for African writing and literary culture. We bring you all the latest news and juicy updates on publications, authors, events, prizes, and lifestyle. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@brittlepaper) and sign up for our "I love African Literature" newsletter.

Monthly Newsletter!

Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our
"Guide to African Novels."

Archives

Suyi Davies Okungbowa’s Fantasy Trilogy, The Nameless Republic, Acquired by Orbit 

Suyi davies okungbowa by adaeze opara duncan

Orbit has acquired the rights to the Nigerian writer Suyi Davies Okungbowa’s new epic fantasy trilogy. Titled The Nameless Republic, […]

Ilya Kaminsky & Ellen Bass Have Serious Praise for Romeo Oriogun’s Hotly Anticipated Debut Collection, Sacrament of Bodies

romeo oriogun - sacrament of bodies - graph

We are two months away from the arrival of Romeo Oriogun‘s debut poetry collection Sacrament of Bodies, from the University […]

Nancy Adimora, Founder & Editor of Afreada, Rejoins HarperCollins in Diversity-Focused Role

nancy adimora - website - graph

Nancy Adimora, founder and editor of the literary magazine AFREADA, is returning to US publishing house HarperCollins in a newly […]

Come Home with Me | Obasa Funmilayo | Poetry

nick-karvounis-8WODX7nO2JE-unsplash

i This is a tribute to the dreams we failed to keep between our breasts, for the fantasies we painted […]

Watch Liberian Journalist Clarice Gargard Talk Her Family History, the Civil Wars, & Charles Taylor

clarice gargard - tedxamsterdamwomen-2019

The Liberian Dutch-American journalist and social advocate Clarice Gargard recently shared her story of Liberia’s civil wars in a TEDx […]

Submit to Issue III of 20.35 Africa Poetry Series, Guest-Edited by Itiola Jones & Cheswayo Mphanza

20.35 africa - itiola jones and cheswayo mpanza guest-editing

Launched in 2018, the 20.25 Africa: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry collective is pushing institutional boundaries in the African literary scene […]

Thanks for signing up!

Never miss out on new posts. Subscribe to a digest, too:

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.