Afolabi, Segun 1966- (Segun A. Afolabi)

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Afolabi, Segun 1966- (Segun A. Afolabi)


Born 1966, in Kaduna, Nigeria; son of James Afolabi (a diplomat). Education: Attended Brighton College, England, and the University of Wales, Cardiff.


Home—London, England.


Worked in a bookshop and as an editor and producer for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), London, England.


Caine Prize, 2005, for "Monday Morning."


A Life Elsewhere (stories), Jonathan Cape (London, England), 2004.

Goodbye Lucille (novel), Jonathan Cape (London, England), 2007.

Contributor to literary magazines, including Wasafiri, Granta, Edinburgh Review, New Welsh Review, Interpreter's House, Dream Catcher, Salamander, Prism International, and Pretext.


Segun Afolabi, the son of a diplomat, was born in Nigeria and grew up in the Congo, Canada, East Germany, and Indonesia, among other countries. He studied in England and Scotland and worked for a time for the British Broadcasting Corporation. His writing debut, A Life Elsewhere, is a collection of short stories that begins with "Monday Morning," which was awarded the 2005 Caine Prize for African writing. It is the story of a group of refugees, and particularly one family, who stop at a hostel. They are temporarily diverted by the beauty of a nearby park, but must return to the hostel on Monday to continue their journey. In reviewing the collection for the Guardian Online, Mike Phillips wrote: "The story is a subtle but direct reprise of the confusion, terror and hope suffered by the family and thousands of others like them, and it neatly establishes the mood and the themes that will run through the collection." Similarly, the other sixteen stories also reflect displacement and exile. New Internationalist contributor Peter Whittaker wrote: "Segun Afolabi has an unaffected style and he has genuine affection for his characters, adrift in a hostile world."

Afolabi's first novel, Goodbye Lucille, is set in Berlin, Germany, during the summer of 1985. The protagonist, Vincent, is a poor photographer who is missing Lucille, the girl he left in London, when a phone call from an aunt changes Vincent's life. The story is one of love, identity, and the nature of life as an immigrant.



African Business, June, 2006, review of A Life Elsewhere, p. 64.

New Internationalist, July, 2006, Peter Whittaker, review of A Life Elsewhere, p. 27.


Authortrek, (May 3, 2007), biography.

Guardian Online, (May 20, 2006), Mike Phillips, review of A Life Elsewhere.