Sarah Ladipo Manyika

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Sarah Ladipo Manyika
Born (1968-03-07) 7 March 1968 (age 53)
OccupationNovelist, short-story writer, essayist, literary critic
CitizenshipUnited Kingdom
EducationUniversity of Birmingham;
University of Bordeaux;
University of California, Berkeley
GenresNovels, essays, academic papers, book reviews, short stories
Notable worksIn Dependence (2008);
Like A Mule Bringing Ice Cream To The Sun (2016)

Sarah Ladipo Manyika (born 7 March 1968) is a British-Nigerian writer of novels, short stories and essays. She is author of two well received novels, In Dependence (2009) and Like A Mule Bringing Ice Cream To The Sun (2016), and has had work published in publications including Granta, Transition, Guernica, and OZY, currently serving as Books Editor of OZY.[3] Manyika's work also features in the 2019 anthology New Daughters of Africa.[4]

Early life[edit]

Sarah Manyika was born and raised in Nigeria.[1][2] She has also lived in Kenya, France, Zimbabwe, and Britain.[2] Her father is Nigerian and her mother is British.[5] Manyika inherited her birth name (Ladipo) from her father, who was born in Ibadan (South-West Nigeria) in the late 1930s. Her father met and married her mother in the UK in the 1960s. Sarah spent much of her childhood in Lagos and the city of Jos in Plateau State.[2] As a teenager, she lived for two years in Nairobi, Kenya, before her family moved to the UK.


Manyika studied at the Universities of Birmingham (UK), Bordeaux (France), and California (Berkeley), receiving a Ph.D from the latter.[6] She was married in Harare, Zimbabwe, in 1994, and now divides her time between San Francisco (where she has taught literature at San Francisco State University), London and Harare.

Her writing includes published essays, academic papers, book reviews and short stories. Her short story "Mr Wonder" appeared in the 2008 collection Women Writing Zimbabwe.[7] Her first novel,[8] In Dependence, was originally published by Legend Press, London, in 2008,[9] and was chosen by the UK's largest bookstore chain as its featured book for Black History Month.[10] In 2009, In Dependence, was published by Cassava Republic,[11] a literary press based in Abuja, Nigeria (as well as, latterly, in the UK), with a stable of authors that includes Teju Cole and Helon Habila. Speaking of her decision to sign with an African publisher, Manyika has said: "I realized that by granting world rights to an African publisher I could, in a small way, attempt to address the imbalance of power in a world where the gatekeepers of literature, even for so-called African stories, remain firmly rooted in the west."[12] Toni Kan writes in The Lagos Review: "Sarah Manyika has written an impressive debut novel which will find a well deserved place in the pantheon of post-colonial literature."[13] In 2014, In Dependence was published by Weaver Press in Zimbabwe, where it is a set book for the Advanced-level English Literature examination.[14] In Dependence has also been introduced by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) in Nigeria for candidates sitting for the 2017 UTME.[15]

Manyika's second novel, Like A Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun, on publication in spring 2016 was endorsed by many other writers, including Bernardine Evaristo ("Manyika's story about an elderly Nigerian woman is quiet, sophisticated and it expands the canon of contemporary African literature into welcome new territory"), Aminatta Forna ("gorgeous and finely crafted...Sarah Manyika's novel shows ordinary people at their best. Uplifting!"), NoViolet Bulawayo ("Astute, sensual, funny, and moving"), Jamal Mahjoub ("Manyika writes with great verve and gentle wit, illuminating her characters with subtle insight"), Peter Orner ("A beautiful, important new novel, and one that will continue to echo in a reader's mind for a long time after"), E. C. Osondu ("unforgettable...a powerful meditation on loss, memory, exile and loneliness. The characters in this novel will stay with you"), and Brian Chikwava ("A wonderfully constructed novel, always surprising").[16][17] It has been translated into several languages.[6]

Like A Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun was shortlisted in September 2016 for the Goldsmiths Prize (alongside books by Rachel Cusk, Deborah Levy, Eimear McBride, Mike McCormack and Anakana Schofield),[18][19] "the first African novel to be considered for this prize",[20] which was set up to reward fiction that breaks the mould or extends the possibilities of the novel form. The novel was also shortlisted for the California Book Award in the fiction category (alongside works by such writers as Andrew Sean Greer, Percival Everett, and Viet Thanh Nguyen).[21] Of the genesis for Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun Manyika has said: "I've met many older women who have lived colourful lives, and yet when it comes to fiction I don't find many stories that mirror this, especially so when it comes to the lives of black women. When I cannot find stories that I'd like to read, I try writing them for myself."[22] The novel's title is an acknowledged line from a poem by Mary Ruefle called "Donkey On".[23]

Manyika is a contributor to the 2019 anthology New Daughters of Africa: An International Anthology of Writing by Women of African Descent, edited by Margaret Busby, participating in associated events.[24][25]

Manyika's non-fiction writing includes personal essays and in-depth profiles of people she meets, including Evan Mawarire, Toni Morrison and Michelle Obama.[26]

Manyika serves on the boards of Hedgebrook and the Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco.[27] She has also hosted OZY′s video series, Write,[28] and is currently the magazine's Books Editor.[29][3] She has also served as a judge for literary competitions, the Etisalat Prize for Literature in 2014[30] and the Goldsmiths Prize in 2020.[31] Manyika hosts a series of monthly interviews for MoAD, called "Conversations Across the Diaspora", and her guests from around the world have included Senator Cory Booker, Ibrahim Mahama, Jess Cole, Strive Masiyiwa, Tatyana Ali, Anna Deavere Smith,[32] and Henry Louis Gates, Jr.[33]



  • In Dependence (Legend Press, 2008; Cassava Republic Press, 2009)[34]
  • Like A Mule Bringing Ice Cream To The Sun (Cassava Republic Press, 2016, ISBN 978-1-911-11504-5).[35]

Short stories[edit]

Book chapters[edit]

  • "Oyinbo" in Prolematizing Blackness (Routledge, 2003)

Selected essays[edit]

Research reports[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Sarah Ladipo Manyika". Ohio State University Libraries. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d "My Life, My Writings". P.M. News. Nigeria. 26 March 2014. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  3. ^ a b Sarah Ládípọ̀ Manyika biography at OZY.
  4. ^ "Photos from the London Launch of Margaret Busby’s New Daughters of Africa Anthology", Brittle Paper, 9 March 2019.
  5. ^ Vanessa Okwara (3 August 2014). "My style is simple and chic - Sarah Ladipo Manyika". New Telegraph. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  6. ^ a b "About Sarah Ladipo Manyika", Sarah Ladipo Manyika website.
  7. ^ Lawrence Hoba (26 August 2008). "It's all women, passion and skill in Weaver Press's latest anthology". The Zimbabwean. Retrieved 15 February 2009. Via Weaver Press.
  8. ^ "Legend Press sign San Francisco-based author Sarah Ladipo Manyika". Free Press Release. 4 June 2008.
  9. ^ Obi Nwankanam (15 February 2009). "Sarah Manyika's in dependence". Vanguard. Archived from the original on 16 February 2009. Retrieved 15 February 2009.
  10. ^ Interview by Ovo Adagha: "Sarah Ladipo Manyika". African Writing (9). Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  11. ^ In Dependence page, Cassava Republic Press.
  12. ^ "Interview with Sarah Ladipo Manyika", The Writes of Woman, 2 November 2016.
  13. ^ Kan, Toni (7 March 2021). "#Blastfromthepast A review of Sarah Ladipo Manyika's 'In Dependence'". The Lagos Review. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  14. ^ Beaven Tapureta, "Sarah Manyika's debut novel thrills", The Herald (Zimbabwe), 1 April 2015.
  15. ^ "JAMB Introduces New Novel For 2017 UTME Candidates which the students enjoy since for the past few years they've been reading The Last Days At Forcados High School a novel that was also published by Cassava Republic press – 'In Dependence'", Nigeria Today, 14 March 2017.
  16. ^ Like A Mule Bringing Ice Cream To The Sun at Amazon.
  17. ^ "Sarah Ladipo Manyika’s sophomore novel for April 1", James Murua's African Literature Blog, 14 March 2016.
  18. ^ "The full shortlist", The Goldsmiths Prize 2016, Goldsmiths, University of London.
  19. ^ Anna Leszkiewicz, "'Erotic dreams about a man half my age': Sarah Ladipo Manyika reveals the value of pleasure", New Statesman, 3 November 2016. Retrieved 6 November 2016.
  20. ^ Ainehi Edoro, "Why it Matters that Sarah L. Manyika is on the Goldsmiths Prize Shortlist", Brittle Paper, 10 October 2016.
  21. ^ Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, "Sarah Manyika Shortlisted For California Book Award", Daily Trust, 1 April 2018.
  22. ^ Anna Leszkiewicz, "Sarah Ladipo Manyika: 'Breaking convention often takes courage and is seldom rewarded'", New Statesman, 2 November 2016.
  23. ^ Beaven Tapureta, "Manyika launches second book", Bulawayo24, 20 July 2016.
  24. ^ Olatoun Gabi-Williams, "After seminal anthology, Busby celebrates New Daughters of Africa", The Guardian (Nigeria), 21 April 2019.
  25. ^ Adaobi Onyeakagbu, "Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Taiye Selasi among 200 female contributors for New Daughters of Africa Anthology", Pulse, 12 March 2019.
  26. ^ "Writings: Essays & Articles", Sarah Ladipo Manyika website.
  27. ^ "Africa Talks: the global legacy of African women writers", LSE Festival: Shape the World, London School of Economics, 7 March 2020.
  28. ^ "Interview with Sarah Ladipo Manyika", Munyori Literary Journal, 8 September 2016.
  29. ^ "A Novelist’s Choose on This Year’s Nobel Prize for Literature | POV", Cisco Connections, 6 October 2017.
  30. ^ Akintayo Abodunrin, "Quartet announced as judges for 2014 Etisalat Prize" Archived 14 September 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Nigerian Tribune, 20 July 2014.
  31. ^ "Sarah Ladipo Manyika is Goldsmiths Prize 2020 judge", James Murua's Literature Blog, 29 January 2020.
  32. ^ Elizabeth Gessel, "Conversations Across the Diaspora hosted by Sarah Ladipo Manyika", MoAD, 17 September 2020.
  33. ^ "Conversations Across the Diaspora with guest Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr". YouTube. 9 April 2021. Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  34. ^ In Dependence at Amazon.
  35. ^ Like A Mule Bringing Ice Cream To The Sun, Cassava Republic Press, 2016.
  36. ^ "New daughters of Africa : an international anthology of writing by women of African descent" at Brown University Library.
  37. ^ Sarah Ladipo Manyika, "Coming of Age in the Time of the Hoodie", Guernica, 23 June 2015.
  38. ^ Sarah Ladipo Manyika, "Betting on Africa", Brittle Paper, 28 March 2016.
  39. ^ Sarah Ládípọ̀ Manyika, "For the Love of Older Characters in Good Books", OZY, 29 October 2017.
  40. ^ Sarah Ládípọ̀ Manyika, "Game of Tomes: The Struggle for Literary Prizes", OZY, 2 November 2017.
  41. ^ Sarah Ladipo Manyika, "On Meeting Toni Morrison", Transition, No. 124, Writing Black Canadas (2017), pp. 138–147. Indiana University Press/Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University.
  42. ^ Sarah Ladipo Manyika, "What James Baldwin Means To Me", Brittle Paper, 4 March 2019.
  43. ^ Sarah Ladipo Manyika, "On Meeting Mrs Obama", Granta 146: The Politics of Feeling, 22 March 2019. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  44. ^ Sarah Ladipo Manyika (19 October 2020). "On Meeting Margaret Busby". Granta.

External links[edit]

[[Category:21st-century Nigerian writers] ]