Monday, March 08, 2010

The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives by Lola Shoneyin

(Coming soon: 08 April in the UK and 29June in the US)

For a polygamist like Baba Segi, his collection of wives and a gaggle of children are the symbol of prosperity, success and validation of his manhood. Everything runs reasonably smoothly in the patriarchal home, until wife number four intrudes on this family romance.

Bolanle, a graduate amongst the semi-literate wives, is hated from the start. Baba Segi's glee at bagging a graduate doesn't help matters. Worse, Bolanle's arrival threatens to do more than simply ruffle feathers. She's unwittingly set to expose a secret that her co-wives intend to protect, at all costs.

Lola Shoneyin's light and ironic touch exposes not only the rotten innards of Baba Segi's polygamous household in this cleverly plotted story; it also shows how women no educated or semi-literate, women in contemporary Nigeria can be as restricted, controlled and damaged by men - be they fathers, husbands, uncles, rapists - as they've never been.


11 comments:

Happy Reader said...

Angie, The title itself is intriguing enough for me to pick this up! And, what a gorgeous cover. It is really depressing to read about the conditions of women in Nigeria and the way they let men take control of their destiny. 'Things Fall Apart' made me realize me that very well. Sounds like a great book. Thanks much for the review :)

starry said...

I think this is an interesting bok to read.Thanks for the review.

Lotus Reads said...

Hi Chitts! Yes, one of the reasons this book intrigues me is its reference to polygamy. Very much in the news these days is Jacob Zuma's numerous wives and I wanted to read more about why so many men in Africa are polygamists and why the women go along with it. Is it so much a part of tribal culture or are there really benefits to the men and women. And do women even have a say in being a second or third wife? Another huge polygamist was Fela Kuti, Nigeria's singing icon. This book should make for an interesting read.

Lotus Reads said...

Hi Starry! So lovely to see you here after so long, how are you! Yes, I am looking forward to this book too!

Patty said...

I have to agree with Happy Reader, the title itself makes you want to read this book. Thanks for the tip!

Sanjay said...

Sounds very interesting Lotus, look forward to your review when you are done reading it.

shirin said...

The title, the cover, and most of all, your review is tempting me to get this book immediately. I have always been intrigued by how and why women accept and happily live as "co-wives". This is common with Mormons, and of course in the Arab world as well.

Lotus Reads said...

Polygamy has always intrigued me Shirin and that is one of the main reasons I sought this book out, that and the fact the writer is Nigerian (lots of great literature coming out of Nigeria at the moment). The book is slated for release on the 07th of April, so I'll probably do a more indepth write-up after I read it in its entirety. All I have seen so far is just promotional material, but it looks GOOD!

Omolara said...

The preview of this book has wet my apetite. Where can i get it in Nigeria.
Lara Enigbokan

Omolara said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lotus Reads said...

HI Lara! Lovely to have you here! I am not sure where you could find the book in Nigeria, would you like to e-mail the author, she will tell you. For us North Americans it is available on Amazon.com

This is Lola Shoneyin's contact. Please let her know you found a review for her book on my blog. Thank you!

lola@lolashoneyin.com