Saturday, February 1, 2020

Four excellent shorter novels

Ayòbámi Adébáyò is the author of Stay With Me, which was shortlisted for the Kwani? Manuscript Project as a work in progress in 2013. After it was published in 2017, it was shortlisted for the Baileys Prize for Women’s Fiction, the Wellcome Book Prize and the 9mobile Prize for Literature. It was also longlisted for the International Dylan Thomas Prize. Stay With Me was named a Notable Book of the Year by The New York Times and a Best Book of the Year by The Guardian, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal and many other publications. Ayọ̀bámi was born in Lagos, Nigeria.

At the Guardian she tagged four books shorter than 250 pages "because of the remarkable characters that make them so unforgettable," including:
“You, though, are as beautiful as light splitting through glass,” writes Janice Pariat in her poignant and exquisite The Nine-Chambered Heart, foregrounding the novel’s splintered yet luminous portraiture of one woman’s life through the perspectives of her lovers and would-be lovers. As the nine narrators recall their interactions with this woman, what emerges is a figure who is at once real and mythical, the pulsing heart of an enthralling book.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue