Ayobami Adebayo

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Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀
Born29 January 1988 (1988-01-29) (age 31)
ResidenceLagos, Nigeria
EducationObafemi Awolowo University
Notable work
Stay With Me (2017)
Awards9mobile Prize for Literature

Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ (born 29 January 1988) is a Nigerian writer.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ was born in Lagos, Nigeria, in 1988; shortly after, her family moved to Ilesa and then to Ile-Ife, where she spent most of her childhood in the University Staff Quarters of Obafemi Awolowo University.[2][3] She studied at Obafemi Awolowo University, earning BA and MA degrees in Literature in English, and in 2014 she went to study Creative Writing (MA Prose fiction) at the University of East Anglia, where she was awarded an International Bursary.[4][5] She has also studied with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Margaret Atwood.[6]

Writing career[edit]

In 2015, Adébáyọ̀ was listed by the Financial Times as one of the bright stars of Nigerian literature.[7] Her debut novel, Stay With Me, was published in 2017 by Canongate Books to critical acclaim,[8][9][10] and was shortlisted for the Wellcome Book Prize[11], the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction,[4][12][13] as well as for the 9mobile Prize for Literature,[14] which the novel won in 2019.[15][16] It was also longlisted for the International Dylan Thomas Prize[17]. Prior to publication the work had been shortlisted in 2013 by the Kwani? Manuscript Project,[18][19][20] a prize for unpublished fiction, of which the Series Editor is Ellah Allfrey.[21]

Michiko Kakutani in her review of Stay With Me for The New York Times described Adébáyọ̀ as "an exceptional storyteller", adding: "She writes not just with extraordinary grace but with genuine wisdom about love and loss and the possibility of redemption. She has written a powerfully magnetic and heartbreaking book."[22]

Adébáyọ̀ has been a writer in residence at Ledig House Omi, Hedgebrook, Sinthian Cultural Institute, Ox-Bow School of Art, Siena Art Institute, and Ebedi Hills.[23][24][25] She was shortlisted for the Miles Morland Scholarship in 2014 and 2015.[20][26][27][28] In 2019 she was a guest at the Aké Arts and Book Festival.[29][30]



  • Stay With Me. Canongate Books, 2017 (ISBN 978-1782119463).[31]

Other writing[edit]

One of Adébáyọ̀'s stories was highly commended in the 2009 Commonwealth Short Story Competition.[6] Her poems and stories have been published in several magazines and anthologies, including East Jasmine Review, Farafina Magazine, Saraba Magazine, Kalahari Review, Lawino Magazine, Speaking for the Generations: An Anthology of New African Writing, Off the Coast: Maine’s International Journal of Poetry, Ilanot Review, Gambit: Newer African Writing,[32] and New Daughters of Africa: An international anthology of writing by women of African descent.[33] She has also written non-fiction pieces for Elle UK and the BBC.[34][35]



  1. ^ "When fake news is funny (and when it's not)". Financial Times. 23 March 2017. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  2. ^ Ayobami Adebayo biography at Penguin Random House.
  3. ^ Cain, Presented by Sian; Tresilian, Claire Armitstead, produced by Susannah (14 March 2017). "Baileys longlist author Ayòbámi Adébáyò, and London book fair – books podcast". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  4. ^ a b " Nigerian writer Ayobami Adebayo, Tying the knot after 65, Japan's comfort women", BBC Woman's Hour, 16 March 2017.
  5. ^ "The UEA Creative Writing International Scholarships - UEA". www.uea.ac.uk. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Ayobami Adebayo in Conversation with Claire Armitstead" Archived 3 April 2017 at the Wayback Machine, London Book Fair, 15 March 2017.
  7. ^ Ogunlesi, Tolu (6 October 2015). "A new chapter in Nigeria's literature". Financial Times. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  8. ^ Angelini, Francesca. "Books: Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo". The Times. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  9. ^ Evans, Diana (9 March 2017). "Stay With Me by Ayòbámi Adébáyò review – a big-hearted Nigerian debut". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  10. ^ "Book Review: Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo | Press and Journal". Press and Journal. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  11. ^ "Wellcome Book Prize's 2018 Shortlist: Five of Six Titles Are by Women". Publishing Perspectives. 19 March 2018. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  12. ^ Kean, Danuta (7 March 2017). "Baileys women's prize 2017 longlist sees established names eclipse debuts". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  13. ^ "Baileys Prize reveals 'daring and intimate' shortlist". BBC News. 3 April 2017. Retrieved 16 April 2017.
  14. ^ Onwuemezi, Natasha (22 December 2017). "Adebayo up for £15k African Literature prize". The Bookseller. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  15. ^ Murua, James (8 August 2019), "Ayobami Adebayo is 9mobile Prize for Literature 2017 winner", James Murua's Literature Blog.
  16. ^ Obi-Young, Otosirieze (8 August 2019), "Ayobami Adebayo Wins the 9Mobile Prize for Literature, for Stay with Me", Brittle Paper.
  17. ^ "Ayobami Adebayo, longlisted for Dylan Thomas Prize". ZODML. 15 March 2018. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  18. ^ "Shortlist", The Kwani? Manuscript Project, 2013.
  19. ^ Lindsay (20 June 2013). "Shortlist for the Kwani? Manuscript Prize". Sunday Times Books LIVE @ Sunday Times Books LIVE. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  20. ^ a b "100 MOST INFLUENTIAL NIGERIAN WRITERS UNDER 40. (2016 LIST)" Archived 18 January 2017 at the Wayback Machine, Nigerian Writers Awards, 28 December 2016.
  21. ^ "Ellah Wakatama Allfrey is Series Editor for Kwani? Manuscript Project", The Kwani? Manuscript Project website, 27 November 2013.
  22. ^ Kakutani, Michiko (24 July 2017), "Portrait of a Nigerian Marriage in a Heartbreaking Debut Novel", The New York Times.
  23. ^ "Residencies & Fellowships", section, "Fall 2016 Resident Artists and Writers". Ox-Box School of Art & Artists' Residency. ox-bow.org. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  24. ^ (Italy), Siena Art Institute Onlus - Via Tommaso Pendola 37 - 53100 Siena. "Dettaglio figura - Siena Art Institute Onlus". www.sienaart.org. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  25. ^ "About Ayọ̀bámi", Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ website.
  26. ^ "7 South Africans Make the 2015 Morland Writing Scholarships Shortlist". Sunday Times Books LIVE @ Sunday Times Books LIVE. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  27. ^ lanredahunsi (26 November 2014), "Winners Announced for the 2014 Miles Morland Foundation Writing Scholarship for African Writers", OFA.
  28. ^ 2015 shortlist, Miles Morland Foundation.
  29. ^ Wood, Molara (24 October 2019), "The irresistible rise of Nigerian fiction", The Irish Times.
  30. ^ "Africa: Ake Festival - Africa's Leading International Book Festival", AllAfrica, 24 October 2019.
  31. ^ Stay with Me at Canongate.
  32. ^ "Saraba Talk with Ayobami Adebayo & Ayo Sogunro", Saraba, 26 July 2016.
  33. ^ Busby, Margaret (9 March 2019), "From Ayòbámi Adébáyò to Zadie Smith: meet the New Daughters of Africa", The Guardian.
  34. ^ "Emel: The Voice of the Tunisian Revolution, The Cultural Frontline - BBC World Service". BBC. March 2017. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  35. ^ "Author Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ: What Post-Truth Means To Me". ELLE UK. 17 March 2017. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  36. ^ Malec, Jennifer (8 August 2019), "Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ announced as winner of 9mobile Prize for Literature for her debut novel Stay With Me", Johannesburg Review of Books.
  37. ^ Nwakunor, Gregory Austin (11 August 2019), "Ayobami Adebayo wins 2018 9mobile prize", The Guardian (Nigeria).

External links[edit]