Sefi Atta was born 1964 in Lagos, Nigeria. She was educated there, in England and the United States. Her father Abdul-Aziz Atta was the Secretary to Federal Government and Head of the Civil Service until his death in 1972, and she was raised by her mother Iyabo Atta. Her short stories have appeared in journals like Los Angeles Review and Mississippi Review and have won prizes from Zoetrope and Red Hen Press.
She lives in Mississippi with her husband Gboyega Ransome-Kuti, a medical doctor, and their daughter, Temi.