Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away
When their mother catches their father with another woman, twelve year-old Blessing and her fourteen-year-old brother, Ezekiel, are forced to leave their comfortable home in Lagos for a village in the Niger Delta, to live with their mother’s family. Without running water or electricity, Warri is at first a nightmare for Blessing. Her mother is gone all day and works suspiciously late into the night to pay the children’s school fees. Her brother, once a promising student, seems to be falling increasingly under the influence of the local group of violent teenage boys calling themselves Freedom Fighters. Blessing is exposed to the horrors of genital mutilation and the devastation wrought on the environment by British and American oil companies. Her grandfather, a kind if misguided man, is trying on Islam as his new religion of choice, and is even considering the possibility of bringing in a second wife.
Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away is the witty and beautifully written story of one family’s attempt to survive a new life they could never have imagined, struggling to find a deeper sense of identity along the way.
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Christie trained as a paediatric nurse at Great Ormond Street Hospital, and worked as a nurse, educator and senior sister, for over ten years before joining UEA for her MA in Creative Writing, where she won the Malcolm Bradbury Bursary.
Christie lives in South London with her Nigerian Muslim partner, and their large dual heritage, multi-faith family.