The Secret Lives of the Four Wives

Lola Shoneyin (Author)


"When Baba Segi woke up with a bellyache for the sixth day in a row, he knew it was time to do something drastic about his fourth wife's childlessness."

For Baba Segi, his collection of wives and gaggle of children are the symbol of prosperity, success and a validation of his manhood. Everything runs smoothly in the patriarchal home, until wife number four intrudes on their cozy family arrangement. Baba's three wives hate Bolanle from the start; she doesn't seem to know her place-at the bottom of the totem pole. And, to top it all, she wants to teach them to read But Bolanle's arrival threatens to do more than simply ruffle feathers. Unwittingly, she's about to expose the wives' long-guarded secret-and they are not going to sit idly by and let her ruin what they've worked so hard to protect.

Longlisted for the Orange Prize, The Secret Lives of Four Wives is Lola Shoneyin's fabulous and entertaining debut novel that brings your students into the little known world of polygamy in modern-day Nigeria.

"Using alternating narration, Shoneyin quickly gains the readers interest in this warts-and-all depiction of a culture that will be unfamiliar to many. Each wife finds her own way to assert her power and desire within the confines of a patriarchal system; in some cases, with disastrous consequences. Book clubs and readers in general interested in exploring dynamic characters and events, and who can tolerate some sex and violence, will find this a strong choice."-Library Journal

Product Details

$14.99  $13.79
William Morrow & Company
Publish Date
July 05, 2011
5.3 X 0.7 X 7.9 inches | 0.5 pounds
BISAC Categories:

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

Lola Shoneyin's work includes three books of poems: So All the Time I Was Sitting on an Egg (1997), Song of a Riverbird (2002) and For the Love of Flight (2010) and two children's books: Mayowa and the Masquerades (2010) and Iyaji, the Housegirl (2014). Her debut novel, The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives (2010), was long-listed for the 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction and won the PEN Oakland 2011 Josephine Miles Literary Award. After teaching both in Nigeria and abroad for many years, Shoneyin now lives in Lagos, Nigeria and organises the Ake Arts and Book Festival.