The new cover of Sarah Ladipo Manyika’s In Dependence, designed by Micahel Salu.

Sarah Ladipo Manyika’s debut novel In Dependence was published in 2009 by Cassava Republic Press and has since sold more than three million copies in Nigeria. To mark the novel’s 10th anniversary, Cassava Republic will be reissuing it on 14 May 2019.

Here is a synopsis:

It is the early-sixties when a young Tayo Ajayi sails to England from Nigeria to take up a scholarship at Oxford University. In the city of dreaming spires, he finds himself among a generation high on visions of a new and better world. The whole world seems ablaze with change: independence at home, the first tremors of cultural and sexual revolutions. It is then that Tayo meets Vanessa Richardson, the beautiful daughter of an ex-colonial officer.

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In Dependence is Tayo and Vanessa’s story of a brave but bittersweet love affair. It is the story of two people struggling to find themselves and each other, a story of passion and idealism, courage and betrayal, and the universal desire to fall, madly, deeply, in love.

Ten years later, this is a book for right now, relevant not simply as it relates to mixed race couples and race relations in general; it also speaks to the broader global preoccupations and concerns around migration. In today’s world with increasing mistrust of “the other”—be it across national borders or within nations where racial, social and ethnic tensions continue to divide, In Dependence remains timely and uplifting.

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Sarah Ladipo Manyika. Photo credit: James M. Manyika.

In an email to Brittle Paper, Manyika stated that while “the rights reverted to me a few years ago . . . I have again taken the decision to give CRP world rights to the new edition. I’m excited.” She had written the book because she couldn’t find “a satisfactory love story in the canon of African classics.” She has been quoted as saying: “When I cannot find stories that I’d like to read, I try writing them for myself.”

Sarah Ladipo Manyika’s second novel Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun was shortlisted for the 2016 Goldsmiths Prize and the 2018 California Book Award. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of California and teaches literature at San Francisco State University. The Chair of Judges for the 2015 Etisalat Prize for Literature, she sits on the boards of Hedgebrook and San Francisco’s Museum of the African Diaspora.

Brittle Paper congratulates Sarah Ladipo Manyika.