Tiny Sunbirds Far Away
Winner of the Costa First Novel Award, from the author of The Language of Kindness
By Christie Watson
The touching and beguiling first novel from the author of The Language of Kindness
WINNER OF THE COSTA FIRST NOVEL AWARD.
'Everything changed after Mama found Father lying on top of another woman.'
Blessing and her brother Ezikiel adore their larger-than-life father, their glamorous mother and their comfortable life in Lagos. But all that changes when their father leaves them for another woman. Their mother is fired from her job at the Royal Imperial Hotel - only married women can work there - and soon they have to quit their air-conditioned apartment to go and live with their grandparents in a compound in the Niger Delta.
Adapting to life with a poor countryside family is a shock beyond measure after their privileged upbringing in Lagos. Told in Blessing's own beguiling voice, Tiny Sunbirds Far Away shows how some families can survive almost anything. At times hilarious, always poignant, occasionally tragic, it is peopled with characters you will never forget.
'This is not a bleak book: there is humour and love, especially in the growing relationship between Blessing and her grandmother, a traditional midwife. Absorbing and passionate' Guardian
Christie Watson was a registered nurse for twenty years before writing full time. Her first novel, Tiny Sunbirds Far Away, won the Costa First Novel Award and her second novel, Where Women Are Kings, was also published to international critical acclaim. Her books have been translated into eighteen languages. The Language of Kindness, Christie's first work of narrative non-fiction, is forthcoming internationally.
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- Publication date:
01 Dec 2011
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An immensely absorbing novel. It is both heart-wrenching and consoling — Chika Unigwe
The gripping, triumphant tale of a girl who chooses life over loss, in a sweet but savage world where oil is bled from the earth — Lola Shoneyin, author of The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives
Watson's descriptions of character and place are beautifully observed — Independent
Heart-warming — Telegraph
Absorbing and passionate — Guardian
Readability and literary merit go hand in hand in this vibrant gem of a novel — Costa Judges
An excellent novel. It takes the reader deep into the reality of ordinary life in Nigeria and is also funny, moving and politically alert — Giles Foden, author of The Last King of Scotland
A fascinating, poignant story that had me laughing in places and deeply moved in others — Ike Anya
Skilfully treading the fine line between gritty hardship and homespun warmth ... Christie Watson's affecting but unsentimental debut earns its place in the sun — Independent
Funny, tragic and moving all in the right places — Pride