For the characters in Segun Afolabi's debut collection, 'elsewhere' is a place they must transform into home. In the award-winning 'Monday Morning' a refugee boy puzzles out his place in a new land. A bereaved father in 'Arithmetic' thinks back to a confusing, youthful sexual encounter that has left him emotionally scarred; Jacinta faces a long retirement with a husband she is not sure she likes in 'Jumbo and Jacinta' and 'The Wine Guitar' tells the story of an aging musician who pays a prostitute for the gift of her youth.
These are tales of diaspora, of people making their lives in new lands. Moving, funny and occasionally shocking, Afolabi's stories reflect the way we live now.
A Life Elsewhere was shorlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize.
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Segun Afolabi is a writer of tremendous talent. His stories are subtly told and elegantly executed. His greatest skill though, is one possessed by only a few writers. He offers his readers a different way of seeing... and in so doing he elevates himself above the merely talented towards becoming a writer who will certainly make his mark in the world of literature -
Afolabi captures snapshots of these lives with searing accuracy but also takes us on delicate sojourns into his characters minds - The Times
These impressionistic tales sharply evoke landscapes both physical and mental - Observer
Afolabi has a supple, disciplined style, capable of suggesting layers of complex emotion and memory in a few phrases ... a writer of exceptional promise - Guardian
Segun Afolabi was born in Nigeria and brought up in the Congo, Canada and Japan. His stories have been published in various literary journals including Granta, the London Magazine, Wasafiri and the Edinburgh Review. He lives and works in London.