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A Bit of Difference
Sefi Atta

published 2015 • 5 1/4" x 8" • 221 pages
Available Options:

PAPERBACK EDITION NOW AVAILABLE. 

A new novel from the winner of the Wole Soyinka Prize for African Literature

At thirty-nine, Deola Bello, a Nigerian expatriate in London, is dissatisfied with being single and working overseas. Deola works as a financial reviewer for an international charity, and when her job takes her back to Nigeria in time for her father’s five-year memorial service, she finds herself turning her scrutiny inward. In Nigeria, Deola encounters changes in her family and in the urban landscape of her home, and new acquaintances who offer unexpected possibilities. Deola’s journey is as much about evading others’ expectations to get to the heart of her frustration as it is about exposing the differences between foreign images of Africa and the realities of contemporary Nigerian life. Deola’s urgent, incisive voice captivates and guides us through the intricate layers and vivid scenes of a life lived across continents. With Sefi Atta’s characteristic boldness and vision, A Bit of Difference limns the complexities of our contemporary world. This is a novel not to be missed.

Sefi Atta is the author of two previous novels, Swallow and Everything Good Will Come, and a collection of short stories, News from Home, all published by Interlink Books. She has been awarded the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa and the NOMA Award for Publishing in Africa. Her novels have been published around the world and translated into numerous languages, and her radio and stage plays have been performed internationally. She was born in Lagos and now lives in Mississippi.

Advance praise for Sefi Atta’s A Bit of Difference

“Atta’s splendid writing sizzles with wit and compassion. This is an immensely absorbing book.” —Chika Unigwe, author of On Black Sisters Street

“An up-close portrait of middle-class Nigeria exploring the boundaries of morals and public decorum. Pitched between humor and despair, with stripped-down, evocative prose, A Bit of Difference bristles with penknife-sharp dialogue, but its truths are more subtle, hiding in the unspoken. Ultimately, A Bit of Difference explores —with a hint of mischief—the problem of how to look like you have no problems when you have abundant problems—the universal problem of the socially-motivated classes.”
 —Nii Parkes, author of Tail of the Blue Bird

“Sefi Atta's prose is as clear as water and just as vital. This novel of complex psychologies speaks at close range in a near whisper. Writers of casually accomplished novels rarely need to shout.”
— Colin Channer, author of Waiting in Vain and The Girl with the Golden Shoes


Media Reviews

“A shrewd, quietly fearless and often witty novel that triumphantly succeeds in being both politically thought-provoking and emotionally engaging.”
—The Daily Mail, London

“We see too little writing from Africa, particularly from women. Prize-winning author Sefi Atta shows here how a small difference can go a long way. Deola is Nigerian, forty something and bored with her job at a London aid agency. She is also caught between African and Western expectations. She takes a trip back to Africa and gets pregnant—with the fear of AIDS. This novel is about the clash of cultures, but also the hybrid self that results. Strong stuff, and well told.”
—The Sydney Morning Herald

“Atta’s splendid writing sizzles with wit and compassion. This is an immensely absorbing book.”
—Chika Unigwe, author of On Black Sisters Street

“An up-close portrait of middle-class Nigeria exploring the boundaries of morals and public decorum. Pitched between humor and despair, with stripped-down, evocative prose, A Bit of Difference bristles with penknife-sharp dialogue, but its truths are more subtle, hiding in the unspoken. Ultimately, A Bit of Difference explores —with a hint of mischief—the problem of how to look like you have no problems when you have abundant problems—the universal problem of the socially-motivated classes.”
—Nii Parkes, author of Tail of the Blue Bird

“Sefi Atta's prose is as clear as water and just as vital. This novel of complex psychologies speaks at close range in a near whisper. Writers of casually accomplished novels rarely need to shout.”
—Colin Channer, author of Waiting in Vain and The Girl with the Golden Shoes



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Of Related Interest:
News from Home
Lagos
Everything Good Will Come
Swallow