I love books and I’m a promiscuous reader but every now and then I become completely besotted with a novel. One of my first obsessions, as a kid, was The Wizard of Oz and as an adolescent, I fell for everything by Alice Walker…. Later (late teens), it was all about the works of Chester Himes. And then Kureishi’s Buddha of Suburbia. Shortly after that: Martin Amis’s London Fields. More recently I fell in love with Chris Abani’s Graceland and, around the same time, Emma Donoghue’s Slammerkin. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve re-read the aforementioned books and yet they remain ever-fresh. My current favourite novel is Nigerian author Lola Shoneyin’s Orange Prize long-listed debut The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives. Lola’s language is gorgeous and her characters are vivid and they muscle their way into your memory, your heart, your nightmares. Like Chris Abani, she is a poet and she has so far written just the one novel. I hope she (and Abani) write more novels, and sooooon.
Stand-out line from the book:
"Baba Segi held his penis as if it was a hefty bill he had not expected to pay"