On Sunday, May 14, 2017, I hosted a book chat with two debut authors Odafe Atógun and Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀. It was organised by Ouida Books, the Nigerian publisher of their two novels Taduno’s Song and Stay With Me respectively. They also share a publisher in the UK and in the US.

Atogún is a full-time writer who was born in Lokoja and studied Journalism in Lagos while Adébáyọ̀, though born in Lagos, has lived in Ilé-Ifẹ̀ and Iléṣà where her novel was set. I have enjoyed reading the two books, which deal with love against the background of a social upheaval.  They have a number of other similarities and many differences. For a start, Atógun’s book mixes elements of fantasy and magical realism with into the plot while Adébáyọ̀’s book goes the route of traditional plot, though with a twist on the narrative style and direction in time.

This is not a review of the novels. That will come later. But I enjoyed talking to both authors who are also smart and lovable human beings. I look forward to sharing more thoughts on the books in coming days. The event was held at Patabah Bookstore on Adéníran Ògúnsànyà street, Súrùlérè, with a full house of attendees.

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