Pub Date 2010

The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives

by Lola Shoneyin

Book Description

For a polygamist like Baba Segi, his collection of wives and a gaggle of children are the symbol of prosperity, success and validation of his manhood. Everything runs reasonably smoothly in the patriarchal home, until wife number four intrudes on this family romance.

Bolanle, a graduate amongst the semi-literate wives, is hated from the start. Baba Segi’s glee at bagging a graduate doesn’t help matters. Worse, Bolanle’s arrival threatens to do more than simply ruffle feathers. She’s unwittingly set to expose a secret that her co-wives intend to protect, at all costs.

Lola Shoneyin’s light and ironic touch exposes not only the rotten innards of Baba Segi’s polygamous household in this cleverly plotted story; it also shows how women not educated or semi-literate, women in contemporary Nigeria can be as restricted, controlled and damaged by men – be they fathers, husbands, uncles, rapists – as they’ve never been.

Author: Lola Shoneyin | Print ISBN: 978-9784851800  | Format: 123 x 197mm | No. of Pages: 245 | Pub Date: 2010


About the Author



Lola Shoneyin was born in Ibadan, Oyo State, and studied at Ogun State University and the London Metropolitan University. She teaches English and drama at an international school in Abuja. She is the author of three collections of poetry, So All the Time I was Sitting on an Egg, which was nominated for the ANA poetry prize in 1997, Song of a Riverbird, and For the Love of Flight. Shoneyin attended the Iowa International Writing Programme in 1999. She lives in Abuja with her husband, four children and four dogs. The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives is her first novel.

Find out more at Lola Shoneyin’s website.

Click here to read a discussion on polygamy with Lola Shoneyin in the Jamaica Gleaner.

The headliner for #AkeFest20 is Guadeloupean author Ms Maryse Conde. @akefestival is producing a documentary on her life and work so we sent a film crew to her home recently.

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