Baba Segi’s life has been
going quite well. The one cloud on his sunny horizon is his fourth wife’s
inability to bear him a child. Or maybe he is unaware his sunny little
paradise has a few snakes hiding in the apple tree. Could it be his first
three wives have secrets to protect? Baba Segi has basked in the respect
and devotion of his little family but adding a fourth wife may upset the
balance in ways he cannot conceive.
July 2010 Indie Next List
“There is nothing quite so tantalizing as a glimpse into another culture. With disarming wit and grace, Shoneyin tells the story of a modern Nigerian man and his four wives, the latest of whom, Bolanle, is causing no end of disruption in the household. Deeply political without being corrosive, this is an intimate and compassionate view of social life in Nigeria. Lola Shoneyin has penned a splendid first novel!”
— Jennie Turner-Collins, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Cincinnati, OH
African-born poet Lola Shoneyin makes her fiction debut with The Secret Lives of Babi Segi’s Wives, a perceptive, entertaining, and eye-opening novel of polygamy in modern-day Nigeria. The struggles, rivalries, intricate family politics, and the interplay of personalities and relationships within the complex private world of a polygamous union come to life in The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives—Big Love and The 19th Wife set against a contemporary African background.
About the Author
Lola Shoneyin's work includes three books of poems: So All the Time I Was Sitting on an Egg (1997), Song of a Riverbird (2002) and For the Love of Flight (2010) and two children's books: Mayowa and the Masquerades (2010) and Iyaji, the Housegirl (2014). Her debut novel, The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives (2010), was long-listed for the 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction and won the PEN Oakland 2011 Josephine Miles Literary Award. After teaching both in Nigeria and abroad for many years, Shoneyin now lives in Lagos, Nigeria and organises the Ake Arts and Book Festival.