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Stay with Me: A novel (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Hold on to your emotions: this book is deeply affecting. Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo is a profound look into a very troubled relationship over twenty years in a turbulent Nigeria. It may not be an easy read, but it is a very fulfilling one that will leave you thinking about the characters long after you finish.

Yejide and Akin are young and trying everything they can to have children. The need for offspring has altered all aspects of their once blissful marriage. Akin is pressured into taking a second wife in hopes for a child. Yejide will do anything to make sure she is the one to give Akin the child that he so desperately desires.

Stay With Me was shortlisted for the Bailey’s Prize for Women’s Fiction. Their shortlist added quite a few books to my reading stack, including the winner, The Power by Naomi Alderman, which comes out in October.

— From Shane's World Lit Picks


A New York Times Notable Book

Shortlisted for the 2017 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction

One of the Best Books of the Year: NPR, The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Chicago Tribune, BuzzFeed, Entertainment Weekly, The New York Post, Southern Living, The Skimm

Shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize and the 9mobile Prize for Literature

Longlisted for the International Dylan Thomas Prize

A 2017 BEA Buzz Panel Selection

A Belletrist Book-of-the-Month

A Sarah Jessica Parker Book Club Selection

Ilesa, Nigeria. Ever since they first met and fell in love at university, Yejide and Akin have agreed: polygamy is not for them. But four years into their marriage—after consulting fertility doctors and healers, and trying strange teas and unlikely cures—Yejide is still not pregnant. She assumes she still has time—until her in-laws arrive 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. The unforgettable story of a marriage as seen through the eyes of both husband and wife, Stay With Me asks how much we can sacrifice for the sake of family.

About the Author

Ayobami Adebayo’s stories have appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies, and one was highly commended in the 2009 Commonwealth Short Story Competition. She holds BA and MA degrees in literature in English from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife, and has worked as an editor for Saraba Magazine since 2009. Adebayo also has an MA in creative writing from the University of East Anglia, where she was awarded an international bursary for creative writing. She has received fellowships and residencies from Ledig House, Sinthian Cultural Centre, Hedgebrook, Ox-Bow School of Art, Ebedi Hills and the Siena Art Institute. She was born in Lagos, Nigeria.

Praise For…

“Powerfully magnetic. . . . In the lineage of great works by Chinua Achebe and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. . . . A thoroughly contemporary—and deeply moving—portrait of a marriage.” —The New York Times Book Review

“An absolute must-read and a story that will be shared for many decades to come.” —Emma Roberts, Refinery29

“[A] stunning literary work [that] serves as both astute political commentary and unfolding mystery.” —NPR
“Scorching, gripping, ultimately lovely.” —Margaret Atwood, Twitter
“Powerful storytelling. . . . The story is ancient, but Adebayo imbues it with a vibrant, contemporary spirit.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“Wise and deeply humane. . . . A powerfully affecting tale of love, loyalty, and betrayal.” —Sarah Jessica Parker

Stay With Me feels like a genre unto itself—a story that illustrates the necessity of hope and equality, but one that doesn’t water down the challenges of realizing them.” —Vogue

“A triumph—a complex, deeply felt exploration of love, marriage and family amid cultural and political upheaval.” —Chicago Tribune

“A debut that marks the beginning of what should be a stunning career.” —Goop

“Gorgeous. . . . Filled with big-hearted feelings and all kinds of female strength.” —Bustle

“[A] phenomenal novel. . . . Beautiful. . . . A layered story of love, sacrifice and hope . . . Adebayo’s debut is undoubtedly one of the best reads of this year.” —Essence

“A kind of addictive African soap opera, set against the political chaos of Nigeria in the 1980s.” —People

“A gut-wrenching tale of how wanting a child can wreck a woman, a marriage and a community. . . . Adebayo is surely a writer to watch.” —The Economist

“Forcefully affecting. . . . Adebayo’s compassionate chronicle of a fraught marriage speaks to broader national fears, making this family drama feel like an epic.” —The Wall Street Journal

“Heartbreaking. . . . A story of complicated love teetering between tradition and modernity.” —W Magazine

“A work of intimate yet powerful—and even, at times, shocking—storytelling that will . . . make your world bigger.” —Elle

“A bright, big-hearted demonstration of female spirit, as well as the damage done by the boundlessness of male pride.” —The Guardian

“With lyrical prose, Adebayo explores how far a woman will go to save her marriage.” —Real Simple

“Powerful.” —BuzzFeed

“A heartbreakingly beautiful story about love, marriage, and expectation.” —Southern Living

“Adebayo’s prose is a pleasure: immediate, unpretentious and flecked with whip-smart Nigerian-English dialogue.” —The Sunday Times (London)

Product Details
ISBN: 9781101974414
ISBN-10: 1101974419
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: July 10th, 2018
Pages: 272
Language: English