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A Bit of Difference
     

A Bit of Difference

5.0 1
by Sefi Atta
 

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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,

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Atta, winner of the Wole Soyinka Prize for African Literature for Everything Good Will Come (2006), delivers on the promise of her well-received early work with this breakout which is at once an American successor to classic Nigerian literature and a commentary on how the English-speaking world reads Africa. Lagos born Deola Bello enjoys her job in the London office of an international charity organization, but sees how her home country is sold abroad and is all too aware of the Western attitudes that cling to her African friends, like the intellectual Bandele and the born-again Subu, while shaping the perception of her English schoolfellows and American colleagues. But unlike Bandele, Deola still considers herself Nigerian, and a trip home to visit her widowed mother and testy, troubled siblings—all coping with the legacy of their autocratic father—provides Atta with the opportunity to examine the realities of modern African life, from HIV to the upwardly-mobile Diaspora. Like Teju Cole’s Open City, Deola’s story is low on drama but rich in life, though Atta’s third-person voice makes less for a portrait of a mind in transit than a life caught in freeze-frame, pinned between two continents and radiating pathos. Wholly believable, especially in its nuanced approach to racial identity, the story feels extremely modern while excelling at the novelist’s traditional task: finding the common reality between strangers and rendering alien circumstances familiar. (Sept.)
Library Journal
This detailed novel from Atta (Everything Good Will Come), winner of the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature and NOMA Award for Publishing in Africa, features 39-year-old Deola Bello, a Nigerian financial reviewer who works for an international charity in London. Her job takes her back to Nigeria just as her family holds her father's five-year memorial service. She had not been home for those five years, so while there she is observant and active, coming to numerous realizations that challenge and change her. The novel addresses various social issues, including intercultural expectations and HIV, but is far from preachy. VERDICT Atta's characters are multidimensional, with Deola's voice particularly impressive, and the vividly painted events feel real. Throughout, Atta successfully evokes intense emotion. Recalling Rula Jebreal's Miral, this work will appeal to all readers of contemporary African literature.—Ashanti White, Univ. of North Carolina at Greensboro

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781623710217
Publisher:
Interlink Publishing Group, Incorporated
Publication date:
12/30/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
221
File size:
972 KB

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Meet the Author

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.

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A Bit of Difference 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
HarrietteWilson More than 1 year ago
This beautifully understated novel follows a Nigerian expatriate based in London on international trips for work and to a memorial ceremony for her late father. Underscoring it all is the protagonist's profound sense of alienation both overseas and in her native city of Lagos. It's a complex story that's put together with elegant, eloquent simplicity.