Vanessa Walters was born and raised in London, a graduate of University College London and has spent the past ten years moving from France to Indonesia to Nigeria and now fulfilling a long-held dream to live in Brooklyn, New York. She is previously the author of the YA books Rude Girls, Best Things in Life and Smoke! Othello! She also writes plays, most recently, Michael X, a short play staged at The Almeida Theatre London in June 2021 She was named a Leo Maitland Fellow of the Millay Colony and has received a fellowship to the Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing Conference. Following her tendency to write about places, she is working on her first adult novel, provisionally titled, The Nigerwife, set in Lagos Nigeria
The Nigerwife – A novel set in Nigeria
A body floats along the Lagos Lagoon, unnoticed.
A housewife with an Instagram-perfect life fails to return from a boat trip.
A family weeps in a nondescript London semi.
When sharp-tongued Claudine travels to Lagos, Nigeria to find out what has happened to her niece, she realises Nicole’s heavily filtered Instagram posts give a misleading impression of her life there. Behind the facade of parties and smiling family photos, Nicole seems to have been a lonely, culturally isolated woman, estranged from a hostile husband and with few real friends. There are whispers of an affair, possibly with the son of a feared Nigerian general who is above the law.
Getting answers as a working-class British Jamaican woman in an unfamiliar patriarchal society with a rigid class system and a lack of infrastructure proves challenging. She is reliant on the very people she suspects. With nowhere to turn, Claudine receives help from an unlikely source in The Lagos Nigerwives Association. But as she closes in on the truth, her sanity is threatened by resurgent memories of abuse and abandonment that implicate her in Nicole’s disappearance.