by Stanley Azuakola
Seffi Atta, author of the bestseller Everything Good Will Come, is scheduled to release the Nigerian edition of her new novel “A Bit of Difference” before the end of 2012. The book which was published in Australia in August 2012, is already a big hit in that country. The novel is shot through with “Sefi Atta’s characteristic boldness and vision and limns the complexities of our contemporary world.”
It tells the story of thirty-nine years old Deola Bello, a Nigerian expatriate in London, who is dissatisfied with being single and working overseas. Deola works as a financial reviewer for an international charity, and when her job takes her back to Nigeria in time for her father’s five-year memorial service, she finds herself turning her scrutiny inward.
In Nigeria, Deola encounters changes in her family and in the urban landscape of her home, and new acquaintances who offer unexpected possibilities. Deola’s journey is as much about evading others’ expectations to get to the heart of her frustration as it is about exposing the differences between foreign images of Africa and the realities of contemporary Nigerian life.
Deola’s urgent, incisive voice captivates and guides us through the intricate layers and vivid scenes of a life lived across continents.
Chika Unigwe, author of On Black Sisters’ Street, and a shortlisted nominee in this year’s NLNG Prize for Literature, describes Atta’s new book as “an immensely absorbing book which sizzles with wit and compassion.” Author of of Tail of the Blue Bird, Nii Parkes, describes it as an “up-close portrait of middle-class Nigeria exploring the boundaries of morals and public decorum. Pitched between humor and despair, with stripped-down, evocative prose, ‘A Bit of Difference’ bristles with penknife-sharp dialogue, but its truths are more subtle, hiding in the unspoken.”
It will be published in Nigeria by AAA Press by end 2012.