Everything Good Will Come introduces an important new voice in contemporary fiction. With insight and a lyrical wisdom, Nigerian-born Sefi Atta has written a powerful and eloquent story set in her African homeland. It is 1971, a year after the Biafran War, and Nigeria is under military rule—though the politics of the state matter less than those of her home to Enitan Taiwo, an eleven-year-old girl tired of waiting for school to start. Will her mother, who has become deeply religious since the death of Enitan’s brother, allow her friendship with the new girl next door, the brash and beautiful Sheri Bakare? This novel charts the fate of these two African girls; one who is prepared to manipulate the traditional system and one who attempts to defy it. Written in the voice of Enitan, the novel traces this unusual friendship into their adult lives, against the backdrop of tragedy, family strife, and a war-torn Nigeria. In the end, Everything Good Will Come is Enitan’s story; one of a fiercely intelligent, strong young woman coming of age in a culture that still insists on feminine submission. Enitan bucks the familial and political systems until she is confronted with the one desire too precious to forfeit in the name of personal freedom: her desire for a child. Everything Good Will Come evokes the sights and smells of Africa while imparting a wise and universal story of love, friendship, prejudice, survival, politics, and the cost of divided loyalties.
"Skillful ' impressive debut novel ' Thematically, her work is wide-ranging and yet powerfully focused, the different areas of concern drawn together so that they inform each other ' Again and again Atta's writing tugs at the heart, at the conscience. At the same time, reflecting the resilience of the Logosians whose lives she explores, humour is almost constant, effervescent, most often with a satirical slant ' There are no delusions in Atta's novel, no romanticisation or overstating of a case. Her work stands as a paean to her central character's strengths and her determination to combat oppression.—The Sunday Independent (Lesotho, Africa)
"Sefi Atta's first novel is a beautifully paced stroll in the shoes of a woman growing up in a country struggling to find its post-Independence identity ' The main characters are well realized, and the supporting castcampaigning journalist, put-upon mother-in-law, co-wives in a polygamous marriage, stroppy secretaryavoid caricature. The relaxed tempo of the narrative allows for proper character development.? Everything Good Will Come depicts the struggles women face in a conservative society. This is convincing; more remarkable is what the novel has to say about the need to speak out when all around is falling apart.—Times Literary Supplement (London)
?"Everything Good Will Come is an original, witty coming-of-age tale: Tom Sawyer meets Jane Eyre, with Nigerian girls. Reading Everything Good ' .you can feel the dust and the sun ' an iridescent introduction to a fascinating nation.—The Observer Magazine (London)
"Atta's distinctive coming-of-age novel ' will appeal to all readers interested in contemporary women's stories and/or African culture. Recommended..—Choice
"This lively first novel breaks new ground with a close-up, honest story of a contemporary Yoruba woman's coming-of-age in Lagos. Nigerian-born author Atta now lives in the U.S., and she offers a hilarious if angry take on the Western view of dark, noble, savage Africa "with snakes and vines and ooga--booga dialect." Yet with all the fast talk, this is a heartfelt drama of family, friendship, and community, especially among women. Enitan Taiwo always knows how privileged she is in her lawyer father's home. She sees the poverty and knows about the brutal military dictatorship. But it is not until politics invades her own family that she defies her kind husband and moves from bystander to activist. Never reverential, Enitan's first-person narrative reveals the dynamic diversity within the city, the differences across class, generation, gender, faith, language, tradition, and individual character. Differences, yes, but sometimes connections, too.—Booklist
"[A] book of spirit and an inspiration for anyone who has ever been in opposition to societal or cultural norms.— - Kathleen Cain, Bloomsbury Review
"This is a courageous story about friendship and self-discovery; it is a rallying cry to women to speak out in a world that tries to muzzle them.— - Helen Habila, author of Waiting for an Angel
"Again and again Atta's writing tugs at the heart, at the conscience. At the same time, reflecting the resilience of the Lagosians whose lives she explores, humour is almost constant, effervescent, most often satirical slant.—Sunday Independent, South Africa
"A contemporary rendering of the Nigerian female experience in the footsteps of Buchi Emecheta and Flora Nwapa. It brought the Lagos Queen's Drive, Dolphin Square and Surulere alive.—The Nigerian Guardian, Nigeria
"Sefi Atta's first novel has the nerve to redefine existing traditions of African storytelling. It confronts the familiar passions of a city and a country with unusual insights and a lyrical power pointing our literature to truly greater heights.— - Odia Ofeimun, author of The Poet Lied
"What is beyond doubt is that Sefi writes brilliantly with instantly infectious wit.— - Bashorun JK Randle, author of The Godfather Never Sleeps
"There is wit, intelligence and a delicious irreverence in this book. But it is Sefi Atta's courage in choosing to look at her fictional world through fiercely feminist lenses that I most admired.— - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, author of Purple Hibiscus
"An affirmation of faith in one's capacity, especially female and national, for self-realization.— - Tanure Ojaide, author of Labyrinths of the Delta
Everything Good Will Come is like listening to an old friend recounting and bring up-to-date and to life the happenings in our beloved city of Lagos. From Ikoyi bordering the Marina, to the south nearing Yoruba towns, every part is reawakened and alive: red, throbbing, like the heartbeat of a healthy newborn... I was sorry when I came to the end.— - Buchi Emecheta, author of The Joys of Motherhood
Sefi Atta was born in Lagos, Nigeria, in 1964. She is the author of Everything Good Will Come, Swallow, News from Home, A Bit of Difference and Sefi Atta: Selected Plays. Atta has received several literary awards, including the 2006 Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa and the 2009 Noma Award for Publishing in Africa. Her radio plays have been broadcast by the BBC and her stage plays have been performed internationally. She divides her time between the United States, England and Nigeria.