Swallow

In the 1980s in Lagos, a succession of unfortunate events leads Tolani, a bank secretary, to be persuaded by her roommate Rose to consider drug trafficking as a way to make a living.
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At a glittering ceremony at the Goteborg Book Fair, Sweden, in September 2010, Sefi Atta was awarded the latest and the last Noma Award for Publishing in Africa – one of the most significant and prestigious awards in Africa. The jury had this to say about Atta’s collection of short stories, Lawless and Other Stories:
“The gripping stories of the Nigerian quotidian are of consistently high quality and uniformly outstanding. The writer has an immense gift of language and mastery of narrative in which she redefines the Nigerian social imaginary… One of the most original, imaginative and gifted fiction writers in Africa, and arguably the best of her generation.”
– Noma Award 2010 Jury

In the 1980s in Lagos, the government’s War Against Indiscipline and its accompanying austerity measures are in full swing. A succession of unfortunate events leads Tolani, a bank secretary, to be persuaded by her roommate Rose to consider drug trafficking as a way to make a living. Tolani’s subsequent struggle with temptation forces her to reconsider her morality – and that of her mother Arike’s – as she embarks on a turbulent journey of self-discovery.

About the Author
Sefi Atta was educated in Nigeria, the UK and US, and is a former chartered accountant and a graduate of the Creative Writing Program at Antioch University, Los Angeles. Her short stories have been published in literary journals, her radio plays have been broadcast by the British Broadcasting Corporation, and she has received many awards for her writing. She was the winner of the PEN International 2004/5 David T.K. Wong Prize, and won the first Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa in 2006 for her debut novel Everything Good Will Come.

“Sefi is an inspiration to us all”
– Kopano Matlwa, award-winning author of Coconut

“No contemporary Nigerian writer is better than Sefi Atta at evoking the smells, sounds and the sheer madness of this sprawling cosmopolitan city of Lagos.”
– Toni Kan Onwordi, author of Nights of the Creaking Bed

“In this unique novel, outstanding new literary talent Sefi Atta… bring[s] wit and passion to the heartbreaking story of Tolani and Rose, two young women struggling, not always successfully, to make an honest living in contemporary Nigeria.”
– Tsitsi Dangarembga, author of Nervous Conditions

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