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Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀

The Author Whose Debut Novel We Can’t Stop Talking About

Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ studied under literary greats Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Margaret Atwood. But today she’s becoming a great in her own right thanks to her critically acclaimed novel Stay with Me. Named a Notable Book of the Year by The New York Times and a Best Book of the Year by The Guardian, Adébáyọ̀’s writing moved us all. In fact, we’re still not over it and we’re eagerly awaiting her next piece (hint, hint, nudge, nudge).

When did you realize what you wanted to do in your life?

“I started writing when I was about 9 and by the time I was 15 I was sure that I wanted to become an author someday.”

What is your biggest accomplishment to date?

“I completed the penultimate draft of my debut novel while I was studying and working full-time. For a while, I didn’t think I could do it because I was so overwhelmed. Now I’m proud that I had the drive to keep writing when there were several demands on my time.”

What’s something you’d like people to know about you or your job that they probably don’t?

“My debut novel was rejected by agents and publishers before it found a home.”

What advice do you have for other women working toward their own dreams?

“When you fail, remember that virtually everyone experiences rejection and failure at some point. Take some time off to recover from a setback if you need to, but don’t give up on your dreams.”

Snack food you can’t live without?

“Donkwa”

Desert island question: If you could bring only three things, what would they be?

“A compass, the Book of Psalms and canned food.”

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