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SJP Picks

“From an early age, books were my constant companions and my local library a place I could find a new friend on every shelf.”

Stay with Me

By Ayobami Adebayo

Why I chose this book

Stay with Me is a wise and deeply humane debut novel that unpeels the layers of politics in a marriage from the inside. Ayobami Adebayo tells the story of Akin, Yejide, and their families—a powerfully affecting tale of love, loyalty, and betrayal—with both savagery and heart. I can’t wait for readers everywhere to read and enjoy this novel as our third selection for Book Club Central.”Sarah Jessica Parker

Published by Knopf, an imprint of Penguin Random House (visit website)

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Booklist Starred Review

“When Yejide and Akin fall in love, they decide not to have a polygamous relationship. This surprises their Nigerian families, especially when, four years into their marriage, Yejide still hasn’t become pregnant. Although everyone recognizes how hard Yejide is trying to conceive, the family secretly brings in a second wife. Yejide is furious, and desperate to save her marriage. Adebayo’s debut novel expands beyond the second wife’s arrival to explore the darkest moments of life and marriage. The story alternates between the late 1980s and a funeral in 2008, setting Akin and Yejide’s marriage against a period of political instability in Nigeria. Telling the story from both Akin’s and Yejide’s perspectives, Adebayo describes parenthood and love with heartbreaking prose. She deftly reveals secrets and the decisions that set life-altering events in motion. The story’s fast pace brings surprising twists to Akin, Yejide, and their families’ lives while delving into their history, as a couple and as individuals. Readers of Stay with Mewill eagerly await Adebayo’s next book.” —Laura Chanoux

About the Author

Ayobami Adebayo's stories have appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies, and one was highly commended in the 2009 Commonwealth short story competition. She holds BA and MA degrees in literature in English from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife, and has worked as an editor for Saraba Magazine since 2009. She also has an MA in creative writing from the University of East Anglia, where she was awarded an international bursary for creative writing. She has received fellowships and residencies from Ledig House, Sinthian Cultural Centre, Hedgebrook, Ox-Bow School of Art, Ebedi Hills and the Siena Art Institute. She was born in Lagos, Nigeria.

Read an Interview with Ayobami Adebayo.

Ayobami Adebayo

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Award-winning actor, producer, designer, library supporter and avid reader Sarah Jessica Parker is the honorary chair for Book Club Central. In this role, Ms. Parker selects books throughout the year to share her joy of reading and discussing good books with readers everywhere.

See more of Sarah Jessica Parker's picks for Book Club Central.

Book cover: No One is Coming to Save Us

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