As the revered author of 2017’s popular debut, Stay With Me, Ayobami Adebayo knows what it takes to write a book that makes a difference and challenges societal norms. In an exclusive interview with She Reads, we got the inside scoop on what inspired her novel. She also shares the books and authors she adores.

She Reads: What inspired you to write Stay With Me?


Ayobami Adebayo: I began thinking about the novel after I’d run into the mother of a late friend at an event and was struck by how much she had changed during the years since her daughter died.

SR: What’s on your #TBR pile:

AA: Small Animals by Kim Brooks, She Would Be King by Wayetu Moore and The Arid Sky by Emiliano Monge.

SR: Which authors do you read again and again?

AA: Hilary Mantel, Toni Morrison and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

SR: What books have you loved the most recently?

AA: The books I’ve enjoyed the most this year:

Drinking Coffee Elsewhere by ZZ Packer

“This book is a masterful collection of short stories that yield fresh meaning with each reading.”

Bodies of Light by Sarah Moss

“At once tragic and triumphant, this beautifully written novel traces the trajectory of Ally from a difficult childhood to the point where she becomes one of the first British women to leave medical school with the title of doctor.”

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

“An epic yet engrossing novel.”