The academic and fiction writer, Lola Akande, has released a new novel titled, The Truth about Sadia.
The novel explores how the use of alcohol and hard drugs can lead to the development of mental illness. It recounts the life from childhood to middle age of a beautiful, talented Nigerian woman, Sadia Onaolapo Oyelowo, who must endure tragedy to realise the person she is: strong, resourceful and, above all, a survivor.
Her husband, Mofeoluwa Ayowumi Bolarinwa, is not of sound mind and is inclined to go off the rails in fits of abnormal and strange behaviours following alcohol and drug binges, for which he is hospitalised at a psychiatric hospital.
Each time he is treated and gets better, he returns to the use of the drugs, which in turn triggers a relapse. Inevitably, and despite Sadia’s best efforts, the marriage breaks down and she is forced to raise their only child as a single mother in Lagos surviving on a teacher’s salary.
The Truth about Sadia is a rich, multi-layered novel that does not shy away from delving into the seamier sides of modern Nigerian life in a Lagos rife with contradictions and, above all, the energy for which the city is famous. Indeed, the city is as much a presence in the novel as the characters, especially the two main characters that must reconcile their separate destinies against the city’s contradictions.
This is a novel for the time, warts and all. It will appeal to students at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, teachers and the general public.
Born October 3, 1965, in Kwara State, Nigeria, she teaches African literature in the Department of English, Faculty of Arts, University of Lagos. Her first novel, In Our Place, was published in 2012 by Macmillan Nigeria Publishers Limited, which was subsequently followed by What It Takes, which was published in 2016. In 2020, she published a short story collection, which was nominated for the ANA Prize in 2022.
Her short stories include, I Fixed It, published in the anthology: Sisi Eko. Lagos: Farafina; Camouflage published in the anthology: Dream Chasers. Ibadan: Nelson Fiction
Her work, What It Takes, in 2017 earned her the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) Prize for Prose Fiction.