Sarah Ladipo Manyika

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Sarah Ladipo Manyika
Born (1968-03-07) 7 March 1968 (age 51)
OccupationProfessor of literature at San Francisco State University
CitizenshipUnited Kingdom
EducationUniversity of Birmingham
University of Bordeaux
University of California - Berkeley
GenresNovels, essays, academic papers, book reviews, short stories

Sarah Ladipo Manyika (born 7 March 1968) is a British-Nigerian writer of novels, short stories and essays.

Early life[edit]

Sarah Manyika was born and raised in Nigeria.[1][2] She has also lived in Kenya, France, and Britain. Her father is Nigerian and her mother is British.[3] Sarah inherited her maiden 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 late 1960s. Sarah spent much of her childhood in Lagos and the city of Jos in Plateau State.[2] As a young 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 Berkeley (California). She was married in Harare, Zimbabwe, in 1994 and now divides her time between San Francisco (where she teaches 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.[4] Her first novel,[5] In Dependence, was originally published by Legend Press, London, in 2008,[6] and was chosen by the UK's largest bookstore chain as its featured book for Black History Month.[7] In 2009, In Dependence, was published by Cassava Republic,[8] 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."[9] In 2014, In Dependence was published by Weaver Press in Zimbabwe, where it is a set book for the Advanced-Level English Literature examination.[10] In Dependence has also been introduced by the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) in Nigeria for candidates sitting for the 2017 UTME.[11]

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").[12] It was shortlisted in September 2016 for the Goldsmiths Prize (alongside books by Rachel Cusk, Deborah Levy, Eimear McBride, Mike McCormack and Anakana Schofield),[13][14] "the first African novel to be considered for this prize",[15] which was set up to reward fiction that breaks the mould or extends the possibilities of the novel form. 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."[16] The novel's title is an acknowledged line from a poem by Mary Ruefle called "Donkey On".[17]

Manyika has also hosted OZY′s video series, Write,[18] and is currently the magazine's Books Editor.[19][20]



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

Short stories[edit]

  • "Mr Wonder" in Women Writing Zimbabwe (Weaver Press, 2008)
  • "Modupe" in African Love Stories (Ayebia Clarke Publishing Ltd, 2006)
  • "Girlfriend" in Fathers & Daughters (Ayebia Clarke Publishing Ltd, 2008)

Book chapters[edit]

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


Research reports[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Sarah Ladipo Manyika". Ohio State University Library. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  2. ^ a b c "My Life, My Writings". PM News. Nigeria. 26 March 2014. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  3. ^ 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. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ "Legend Press sign San Francisco-based author Sarah Ladipo Manyika". Free Press Release. 4 June 2008.
  6. ^ Obi Nwankanam (15 February 2009). "Sarah Manyika's in dependence". Vanguard. Archived from the original on 16 February 2009. Retrieved 15 February 2009. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  7. ^ Interview by Ovo Adagha: "Sarah Ladipo Manyika". African Writing (9). Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  8. ^ In Dependence page, Cassava Republic Press.
  9. ^ "Interview with Sarah Ladipo Manyika", The Writes of Woman, 2 November 2016.
  10. ^ "Sarah Manyika's debut novel thrills", The Herald (Zimbabwe), 1 April 2015.
  11. ^ "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.
  12. ^ Like A Mule Bringing Ice Cream To The Sun at Amazon.
  13. ^ "The full shortlist", The Goldsmiths Prize 2016, Goldsmiths, University of London.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ Ainehi Edoro, "Why it Matters that Sarah L. Manyika is on the Goldsmiths Prize Shortlist", Brittle Paper, 10 October 2016.
  16. ^ Anna Leszkiewicz, "Sarah Ladipo Manyika: 'Breaking convention often takes courage and is seldom rewarded'", New Statesman, 2 November 2016.
  17. ^ Beaven Tapureta, "Manyika launches second book", Bulawayo24, 20 July 2016.
  18. ^ "Interview with Sarah Ladipo Manyika", Munyori Literary Journal, 8 September 2016.
  19. ^ "A Novelist’s Choose on This Year’s Nobel Prize for Literature | POV", Cisco Connections, 6 October 2017.
  20. ^ Sarah Ládípọ̀ Manyika biography at OZY.

External links[edit]