Everything Good Will Come


Publication Date: 1 Jun. 2008
Format: Paperback / softback

ISBN 9781876756666

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    Reviews and Awards

    A literary masterpiece... Everything Good Will Come put me into a spell from the first page to the very last... It portrays the complicated society and history of Nigeria through... brilliant prose.

    —World Literature Today

    Sefi Atta’s debut novel is a beautiful stirring story on the concept of womanhood, family and love of country...I was lost in Lagos, Nigeria, a world so different from my own.

    —K. Imani Tennyson, LitStack

    Sefi Atta’s debut novel is a moving and delightful read that leaves you with that increasingly evanescent but surely wonderful feeling of hope.

    —Cecilia A. Ojany, Pen

    ...an original, witty coming-of-age tale: Tom Sawyer meets Jane Eyre, with Nigerian girls. Reading Everything Good...you can feel the dust and the sun...an iridescent introduction to a fascinating nation.

    —The Observer Magazine (London)

    Again and again Atta’s writing tugs at the heart, at the conscience. At the same time, reflecting the resilience of the Lagosians whose lives she explores, humour is almost constant, effervescent, most often satirical...

    —Sunday Independent, South Africa

    [A] book of spirit and an inspiration for anyone who has ever been in opposition to societal or cultural norms.

    —Kathleen Cain, Bloomsbury Review

    Everything Good Will Come is like listening to an old friend recounting and bringing up-to-date and to life the happenings in our beloved city of Lagos. From Ikoyi bordering the Marina, to the south nearing Yoruba towns, every part is reawakened and alive: red, throbbing, like the heartbeat of a healthy newborn... I was sorry when I came to the end.

    —Buchi Emecheta, author of The Joys of Motherhood

    This lively first novel breaks new ground with a close-up, honest story of a contemporary Yoruba woman’s coming-of-age in Lagos. Never reverential, Enitan’s first person narrative reveals the dynamic diversity within the city, the differences across class, generation, gender, faith, language, tradition, and individual character. Differences, yes, but sometimes connections, too.

    —Booklist

    Sefi Atta’s first novel is a beautifully paced stroll in the shoes of a woman growing up in a country struggling to find its post-Independence identity... The main characters are well realized, and the supporting cast—campaigning journalist, put-upon mother-in-law, co-wives in a polygamous marriage, stroppy secretary—avoid caricature. The relaxed tempo of the narrative allows for proper character development. Everything Good Will Come depicts the struggles women face in a conservative society. This is convincing; more remarkable is what the novel has to say about the need to speak out when all around is falling apart.

    —Times Literary Supplement (London)

    Skillful ... impressive debut novel...Thematically, her work is wide-ranging and yet

    powerfully focused, the different areas of concern drawn together so that they inform each other... Again and again Atta’s writing tugs at the heart, at the conscience.

    —The Sunday Independent (Lesotho, Africa)

    Sefi Atta’s first novel has the nerve to redefine existing traditions of African storytelling. It confronts the familiar passions of a city and a country with unusual insights and a lyrical power pointing our literature to truly greater heights.

    —Odia Ofeimun, author of The Poet Lied

    A contemporary rendering of the Nigerian female experience in the footsteps of Buchi Emecheta and Flora Nwapa. It brought the Lagos Queen’s Drive, Dolphin Square and Surulere alive.

    —The Nigerian Guardian, Nigeria

    This is a courageous story about friendship and self-discovery; it is a rallying cry to women to speak out in a world that tries to muzzle them.

    —Helen Habila, author of Waiting for an Angel

    Atta’s distinctive coming-of-age novel... will appeal to all readers interested in

    contemporary women’s stories and/or African culture. Recommended...

    —Choice

    It seems inadequate to describe Enitan as just a character, she is so real. I kept thinking I was reading an autobiography... Reading it was wonderful escapism.

    —Ryl Harrison


    An international prize-winning novel by Nigerian-born Sefi Atta, Everything Good Will Come is a powerful and eloquent story of a young woman’s coming of age. It is 1971, and Nigeria is under military rule and eleven-year-old Enitan Taiwo is tired of waiting for school to start. Will her mother, who has become deeply religious since the death of Enitan’s brother, allow her to be friends with the new girl next door, Sheri Bakare? The two girls’ paths traverse this novel, one manipulates the traditional system, the other attempts to defy it.