Author(s): Christie Watson
'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.
'A must-read. Lyrical and beautifully drawn, a poignant coming of age tale, set in an Africa few readers will have experienced' Lesley Lokko. 'So good I had to lie down after reading it' Trezza Azzopardi. '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. 'Christie Watson's debut novel, set in the troubled Niger Delta, does what fiction does best, it captures place and characters so well that you feel you are there. It is sincere, it is powerfully written, and it deserves to be read' Helon Habila, author of Oil on Water. '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. 'An immensely absorbing novel. It is both heart-wrenching and consoling' Chika Unigwe, author of On Black Sisters' Street. 'A fascinating, poignant story that had me laughing in places and deeply moved in others' Ike Anya.
Christie Watson trained as a paediatric nurse at Great Ormond Street Hospital, and worked as a nurse, educator and senior sister for over ten years before joining UEA for her MA in Creative Writing, where she won the Malcolm Bradbury Bursary. Christie lives in South London with her Nigerian Muslim partner and their large dual heritage, multi-faith family.