Good for Nothing Girl (Hardcover)

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Good for Nothing Girl By Sefi Atta Cover Image


A young woman's quest for a better education results in a case of modern-day slavery, written by the award-winning author of Swallow and Everything Good Will Come.

In The Good-for-Nothing Girl, Gift, an eighteen-year-old Nigerian, gives an account of how her quest for a better education in the United States results in a controversial case of domestic servitude.

Born and raised in a small city in Nigeria where parents customarily name their children after virtues, Gift begins her story as a book-smart and confident high schooler in 2017. She is about to graduate, but has no faith in the education she will receive at the local state polytechnic she has applied to. Seizing an opportunity to attend college in the United States while working as a nanny, she becomes the object of envy in her community, which makes her more determined to leave Nigeria.

Gift travels to a provincial city in Mississippi, where her confidence is diminished by her employer’s manipulation and condescension. She faces isolation in her role as a nanny until she manages to escape, not without her case becoming an international cause célèbre against her wishes. Her anonymity protected by law and her goal to attend college deferred, Gift regains her confidence and turns down a lucrative but exploitative offer to publish her story, preferring to tell it her own way.

The Good-for-Nothing Girl is more a testament to the global market’s impact on the individual’s perception of self-worth than it is a story about modern-day slavery.

About the Author

Sefi Atta is the author of the novels Everything Good Will Come, Swallow, A Bit of Difference, The Bead Collector, The Bad Immigrant; a collection of short stories, News from Home; and Sefi Atta: Selected Plays. She has received several literary awards, including the 2006 Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa and the 2009 Noma Award for Publishing in Africa.

Praise For…

“Written with tender, wry humor, The Good-for-Nothing Girl is a must-read for anyone fascinated by journeys of self-discovery across continents and cultures. A beautifully observed novel without a sentence wasted.”
— —Yaba Badoe

“A swift-paced, complicated coming-of-age story that examines class, cultural friction, and one girl’s journey to define her own story in a world determined to do that for her.”
— — Jordan Ifueko

“Self-agency is often not acknowledged in worlds where girls are raised to live within the boundaries of adult expectations. The Good-for-Nothing Girl celebrates this sense of personal control and reinforces that it is not about what you are called but how you respond.”
— —Yejide Kilanko

Product Details
ISBN: 9781623717568
ISBN-10: 1623717566
Publisher: Interlink Books
Publication Date: November 5th, 2024
Pages: 248
Language: English