In Dependence

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The Book

In the early sixties, Tayo Ajayi sails to England from Nigeria to take up a scholarship at Oxford. There he discovers a whole generation high on visions of a new and better world. He meets Vanessa Richardson, the beautiful daughter of a former colonial officer. Their story, which spans four decades, is a bittersweet tale of a brave but doomed affair and the universal desire to fall truly, madly and deeply in love.

A moving story of unfulfilled love fraught with the weight of history, race and geography and intertwined with questions of belonging, aging, faith and family secrets. In Dependence explores the fragility and complexities of loving across race.

Out World: 14th May 2019

USA & Canada: 1st October 2019





In Dependence is a riveting love story across the challenges of race, geography and scars of colonial history.”

– Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o

“I so enjoyed this beautiful and ambitious novel spanning four decades. It refracts race, culture, politics, work and family through a great love story between a Nigerian man and British woman. The writing is crisp and un-showy, the storytelling immersive, and the characters are all written with sensitivity, showing their humanity. “

Bernardine Evaristo

Author of Mr Loverman

“Sarah Ladipo Manyika tells a compelling story that challenges centuries of stereotypes of what an African story can be—one that weaves love, history and race across decades and continents. It also reminds us of how Africa has always been embedded in the world and the world in Africa. The novel is a graceful and astonishing achievement.”

Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Alphonse Fletcher University Professor, Harvard University

Sarah Ladipo


Sarah Ladipo Manyika was raised in Nigeria and has lived in Kenya, France, and England. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and taught literature at San Francisco State University. Sarah currently serves on the boards of Hedgebrook and the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco. Sarah is a former Books Editor at and lives in San Francisco. 

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