Renowned Nigerian author Ayobami Adebayo has added yet another feather to her literary cap as her second novel, ‘A Spell of Good Things,’ earns a coveted spot on the longlist for the 2023 Booker Prize. The Booker Prize, considered one of the most prestigious accolades in the literary world, celebrates exceptional works of fiction written in English and published in the United Kingdom or Ireland.
Among the top 13 novels longlisted from an impressive pool of 160 works selected across four continents, ‘A Spell of Good Things’ stands out for its fresh perspective and originality. Esi Edugyan, the chairman of the award judges, lauded the longlisted books for shedding new light on contemporary existence and embracing both established and emerging voices.
In a blog post, Edugyan expressed her admiration for the diverse range of subjects and narrative forms explored in the longlist. The novels resonate with readers through their ability to evoke a wide array of emotions – from shock and laughter to anguish – and leave lasting impressions that stay with the readers long after the last page.
‘A Spell of Good Things,’ published in February 2023, is an engrossing tale that delves into the lives of two Nigerian families, skillfully weaving themes of wealth inequality, power dynamics, and political corruption. Adebayo’s powerful storytelling mirrors fears and concerns about corrupt governments and the global surge toward right-wing politics.
This literary recognition places Ayobami Adebayo among an esteemed list of Nigerian novelists who have been considered for the Booker Prize, potentially making her the second Nigerian-born writer to clinch this prestigious award, following in the footsteps of the acclaimed Ben Okri, the Nigerian-born British poet and novelist.
Adebayo’s literary journey began with a strong foundation, holding both B.A. and M.A. degrees in Literature in English from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife. Her passion for writing and storytelling led her to earn an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia (UK), where she received an international bursary for creative writing.
As the anticipation builds for the announcement of the final Booker Prize winner, literary enthusiasts and readers around the world eagerly await the outcome of this remarkable literary journey that has already cemented Ayobami Adebayo’s name among the most celebrated voices in contemporary fiction.