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Ayobami Adebayo holds her novel, Stay with Me, at the 2017 Women’s Prize for Fiction ceremony. Image from Alamy.

Ayobami Adebayo’s debut novel, Stay with Me, has been shortlisted for the 2018 Wellcome Book Prize. Adebayo’s novel was shortlisted alongside Meredith Wadman’s The Vaccine Race, Lindsey Fitzharris’ The Butchering Art, Kathryn Mannix’s With the End in Mind, Mark O’Connell’s To Be a Machine, and Granta owner Sigrid Rausing’s memoir Mayhem. Stay with Me is the only novel on the shortlist.

The £30,000 Wellcome Book Prize celebrates “the best new books that illuminate our encounters with health, medicine and illness.” Of the six titles on the list, five are written by women and five are debuts. Here is the Prize’s comment on Stay with Me:

Stay with Me by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ is a remarkable and turbulent novel that sweeps the reader into the heartbreak of infertility and societal expectation. It is funny and heartbreaking in turn, and I loved it.”

The winner will be announced on April 30 by judges Hannah Critchlow, Bryony Gordon, Edmund de Waal, Sumit Paul-Choudhury and Sophie Ratcliffe Writer.

Previous winners of the prize include Maylis de Kerangal (2017), Suzanne O’Sullivan (2016), Marion Coutts (2015), Andrew Solomon (2014), Thomas Wright (2012), Alice LaPlante (2011), Rebecca Skloot (2010), and Andrea Gillies (2009).

Adebayo’s Stay with Me has so far been shortlisted for the 2017 Women’s Prize for Fiction, and the 2018 9mobile Prize for Literature, and the 2018 Dylan Thomas Prize.

Congratulations to Ayobami Adebayo.

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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