Sefi Atta (born 1964) is a prize-winning Nigerian author and playwright.
Sefi Atta was born in Lagos, Nigeria, in 1964, to a family of five children. 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.
She attended Queen’s College, Lagos, and Millfield School in England. In 1985, she graduated from Birmingham University and trained as a chartered accountant. She moved from England to the United States in 1994 with her husband, Gboyega Ransome-Kuti, a medical doctor, and son of Olikoye Ransome-Kuti. They have one daughter.
Sefi’s Lagos-based production company Atta Girl supports Care to Read, a program she initiated to earn funds for legitimate charities through staged readings.She currently divides her time between Nigeria, England and the United States.
Atta began to write while working as a CPA in New York, and in 2001, she graduated from the creative writing program at Antioch University, Los Angeles. Her short stories have appeared in literary journals such as Los Angeles Review, Mississippi Review and World Literature Today. Her books have been translated to several languages.
2012 A Bit of Difference, Interlink Books, ISBN 978-1566568920
2010 Swallow, Interlink Books, ISBN 978-1566568333
2005 Everything Good Will Come, Interlink Books, ISBN 978-1566565707
2010 News from Home, Interlink Books, ISBN 978-1566568036
2012 An Ordinary Legacy, The MUSON Festival, MUSON Centre, Lagos
2012 The Naming Ceremony, New World Nigeria, Theatre Royal Stratford East, London
2011 Hagel auf Zamfara, Theatre Krefeld, Germany
2011 The Cost of Living, Lagos Heritage Festival, Terra Kulture, Lagos
2005 The Engagement, MUSON Centre, Lagos
2013 The Wake, Smooth FM, Lagos
2007 A Free Day, BBC Radio
2004 Makinwa’s Miracle, BBC Radio
2002 The Engagement, BBC Radio
2009 Leaving on Your Mind – quarter-finalist for the American Zoetrope Screenplay Contest
Selected awards and recognition
2009 Noma Award for Publishing in Africa
2006 Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa
2006 Caine Prize for African Literature, shortlist
2005 PEN International David TK Wong Prize, 1st Prize
2004 BBC African Performance, 2nd Prize
2003 Glimmer Train’s Very Short Fiction Award, finalist
2003 Red Hen Press Short Story Award, 1st prize
2002 Zoetrope Short Fiction Contest, 3rd Prize
2002 BBC African Performance, 2nd Prize
2002 Macmillan Writers Prize For Africa, shortlist
2010 Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon
2008 Northwestern University
2006 University of Southern Mississippi
Atta was on the jury for the 2010 Neustadt International Prize for Literature.
Text compiled and edited by Wole Adedoyin