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  1. How Sickle Cell Inspired This Writer’s Debut Novel

    April 16, 2018 by Andrea

    Author Photo by Eniola Alakija

    A rare disease in the U.S., sickle cell affects about 100,000 total people. In Nigeria, however, the occurrence of SCD isn't as uncommon; in fact, more than 40 million Nigerians carry sickle cell trait and more than 150,000 babies are born with sickle cell disease each year, making Nigeria home to the largest number of sickle cell warriors in the world.

    One of those 40 million, Ayobami Adebayo, is the 30-year-old author of the acclaimed novel "Stay With Me," of which the writing was heavily influenced by her own carrier status and the state of SCD in her home country. A candidate to receive the Bailey's Prize for Women's Fiction, the 9mobile Prize for Literature, and the Wellcome Book Prize (for fiction or nonfiction works that deal with themes of medicine, health, and illness), among others, Adebayo's "Stay With Me" tackles just how much sickle cell disease can affect the families involved.

    In a recent interview with The Guardian, Adebayo says the loss of two of her own friends as teens to sickle cell also inspired her debut work. "I just couldn't stop thinking about what it meant for the mother," she told the paper. "Not just to experience that kind of loss, but to somehow get up the next day."

    Read the full interview here, and if you're interested in reading the novel, you can pick up a copy here.

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