Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀


While in residence, I will be working on themes of grief, memory, gender and digital media. I am working on sections of a novel which is tentatively titled The Daughters. The Daughters‘ primary preoccupation will be with four sisters who take care of their mother in turns as she succumbs to degenerative eventualities of Alzheimer’s disease. Through their narratives which will take the form of letters, diary entries and social media posts, the women confront their resentments towards their mother, each other and their only brother–their mother’s favoured child who was murdered as a teenager. Although this novel will focus on the intimate details of a family’s grief and loss, it will also interrogate the preference for male children in quite a number of Nigerian families. At the moment, this project is in the conceptual stage as I’m completing another novel. However, by the time I hope to be in residence, I expect to have more clarity about its particulars and direction. One of the four sections of this novel will be made up entirely of social media posts in a deliberate attempt to create and communicate a consciousness primarily through a persona’s engagements via social media. Some of these will include the youngest daughter’s flower photography.


Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ is the author of STAY WITH ME, which won the 9mobile Prize for Literature. It was shortlisted for the Baileys Prize for Women’s Fiction, the Wellcome Book Prize and the Kwani? Manuscript Prize. It was also longlisted for the International Dylan Thomas Prize and the International Dublin Literary Award. 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 other publications. It has been published or is forthcoming in 20 languages and 24 countries. Ayọ̀bámi has written for The New York Times, Wasafiri, Elle, the BBC, The Guardian, and others.  She has received fellowships and residencies from MacDowell Colony, Ledig House, Sinthian Cultural Centre, Hedgebrook, Ox-bow School of Arts, Saari Residence and Ebedi Hills. She holds BA and MA degrees in Literature in English from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife. Ayọ̀bámi also has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia where she was awarded an international bursary for creative writing.  In 2017, she won The Future Awards Africa Prize for Arts and Culture.