A Bit of Difference

A Bit of Difference

Sefi Atta

Single life in modern-day Nigeria is far from simple, in this new novel from the winner of the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa.

Deola Bello is tired of London, but she’s not ready to give up on life. When her charity job takes her home to Nigeria, her thoughts turn to the future, as she questions whether her peripatetic existence is still right for her.

Deola encounters changes in her family and her home, while a new friendship with Wale, a charming hotelier, offers more lasting potential. But is Deola really equipped to cope with the altered social mores that are part of modern Nigeria?

Sefi Atta’s urgent, incisive voice guides us through this intricate and vivid narrative, challenging preconceived notions of Africa and bringing to life contemporary Nigeria. With boldness and refreshing honesty, A Bit of Difference looks at the complexities of our globalised world, through a very human lens.

Reviews of A Bit of Difference

    • ‘Atta brilliantly evokes a world just on the brink of major change; her writing is intelligent, witty and controlled.’ The Times
    • ‘Although the novel might not appeal to the Nigerian authorities, it’s far richer and more complicated than the mere displaying of dirty linen … a shrewd, quietly fearless and often witty novel that triumphantly succeeds in being both politically thought-provoking and emotionally engaging.’ Daily Mail
    • ‘Character is one of Atta’s strongest points as a writer – each character, even the most fleeting, has a story, a mannerism that stays with the reader. The book advances not by plot, but rather through anecdotes, flashbacks, side comments and observations … This is a refreshing book from an author with a lot to say.’ Helon Habila, Guardian
    • ‘Difference is both desired and feared by the characters in this thought-provoking novel … Atta hones a distinctive voice to tell a memorable if uneven story about the quest to preserve uniqueness faced with pressure to conform.’ Anita Sethi, Guardian
    • ‘One of the leading writers of her generation.’ Teju Cole
    • ‘Atta’s splendid writing sizzles with wit and compassion. This is an immensely absorbing book.’ Chika Unigwe, author of On Black Sisters Street
    • ‘Enlightening … Atta imbues Deola’s voice with delicious perceptiveness and irony … Atta perfectly hones in on the emptiness which so often epitomises modern life … A pithy analysis of contemporary Nigeria and a character you will want things to work out well for.’ Royal African Society
    • ‘An up-close portrait of middle-class Nigeria exploring the boundaries of morals and public decorum. Pitched between humor and despair, with stripped-down, evocative prose, “A Bit of Difference” bristles with penknife-sharp dialogue, but its truths are more subtle, hiding in the unspoken.’ Nii Parkes, author of Tail of the Blue Bird