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Everything Good Will Come [Hardcover]

Sefi Atta
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

31 Oct 2004
Everything Good Will Come introduces an important new voice in contemporary fiction. 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 Taiwo's brother, allow her friendship with the new girl next door, the brash and beautiful Sheri Bakare? Everything Good Will Come charts the fate of these two African girls, one born of privilege and the other, a lower class "half-caste"; one who is prepared to manipulate the traditional system while the other 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.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Interlink Books (31 Oct 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1566565707
  • ISBN-13: 978-1566565707
  • Product Dimensions: 2.7 x 14.2 x 20.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,058,864 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

Review

"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." Observer, UK"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 and Half of a Yellow Sun"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, UK"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."Sunday Independent, South Africa"A literary masterpiece... Everything Good Will Come put me into a spell from the first page to the very last... It portrays the complicated society and history of Nigeria through... brilliant prose." World Literature Today"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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Sefi Atta was born in Lagos, Nigeria. She was educated there, in Britain and the United States.A former chartered accountant and CPA, she is a graduate of the creative writing program at Antioch University, Los Angeles. Her short stories have appeared in journals like Los Angeles Review and Mississipi Review and have won prizes from Zoetrope and Red Hen Press. Her radio plays have been broadcast by the BBC. She is the winner of PEN International's 2004/2005 David TK Wong Prize. Everything Good Will Come was awarded the inaugural Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa in 2006. She lives in Meridian, Mississippi with her husband Gboyega Ransome-Kuti, a medical doctor, and their daughter, Temi, and teaches at Mississippi State University. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I could not believe this was her first book 19 Nov 2005
By missp85
Format:Hardcover
Sefi Atta writes with amazing clarity and with such depth that the reader is drawn into a world, that many would ordinarily find very difficult to relate to or even visualise. Her depiction of Lagos society covers every facet of the multi-dimensional network in which Nigerians persistently struggle to survive. Through Enitan's brilliant and incredibly intelligent narrative, we see vividly the different layers of individual interaction - the individual struggling with himself and his identity, the individual within his/her family (and the plight of each woman is presented in an insightful yet atypical manner), the individual within society and more potently as a political animal.
As a Nigerian who has always felt a profound connection to her home country, I found myself amassing a wealth of knowledge with every page. Like Enitan, as a little girl I lived in complete bliss and ignorance at a time when my country was in utter chaos. I was touched by her honest portrayal of Nigeria's deep-rooted problems, as well as by her ability to make me laugh out loud even in the most dangerous scenario. Having read this, one is left with a vast array of issues to consider.
To quote Sefi Atta: "the story itself is a study of power, and the characters that Enitan interacts with are like landmarks on the route she takes towards empowering herself."
This may not have been a very clear expression of how fabulous this book is, but I needed to say something if only to encourage someone to read it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By dhoyho
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
this book is an unparalleled vivid description of the numerous 'conflicts' that an educated nigerian (or african) woman had to face in the late 1990s.
Enitan was brought up to be good and work hard while negotiating the complex relationship between her parents. Later in life, conflicts arise from her desire to be 'truly' free of the limitations imposed by society, biology and a lawless nigeria.
Overall a good book, i think the end is a disappointing letdown. She appears to have a breakdown and pursues the 'bitter' way like her mother did (where is the progress?)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lagos revisited 5 Feb 2011
Format:Paperback
Having lived in Lagos, Nigeria, myself, this novel takes me right back to the intrigate politics and unyielding military rule against a drop-back of tribal strife, crime, mal-functioning society, crowded streets and dilapidated buildings. The female protagonist is well portrayed, her husband difficult to grasp.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very strong debut novel.. 22 May 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is another one of those impressive debuts that make writing a first novel look a lot easier than it probably is. Sefi Atta takes familiar themes (friendship and coming of age) and breathes new life into them. I have to agree with one of the previous reviews in that Atta recreates the sights and smells of Naija so vividly. Lagos life and people are depicted with such vibrancy that you're transported there on the pages of the book. Sheri, the narrator Enitan's best friend, is a larger than life character, even though she is not particularly likeable.

Atta covers a vast array of subjects in the book from rape and its aftermath, loveless marriages, religious fanaticism, political upheaval and oppression and the prevaling theme of how an assertive woman struggles to take control of her life when the society in which she grows up encourages her to jettison her independence of thought and self-respect. Atta also portrays the political turmoil Nigeria faced, especially under the Abacha regime, in such a way that is informative without being a dull history lesson, detached from the rest of the book. I enjoyed the first half of 'Everything...' the most because it covers the early years of the friends lives from childhood to young adults; starting in the 1960s and ending in the 1980s. In the second half, as the book comes more up to date the politics take centre stage and when her father vanishes mysteriously, Enitan is forced to get more involved. Up until then she's done a very good job of sticking her head in the sand.

I have to apologise to Miss Atta for taking so long to write this review. I promised to put it up when I met her at a literary convention last year. It shouldn't take any prompting from the author for me to heartily recommend this book in any case.
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