Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away
by Christie Watson

Watson.SunbirdsHeart-wrenching and heart-warming coming-of-age story of a plucky Nigerian girl.

Opening paragraphFather was a loud man.  His voice entered the room before he did.  From my bedroom window I could hear him, sitting in the wide gardens, or walking to the car parking area filled with Mercedes, or standing by the security guard’s office or gate in front.

Quotes from critics: “Christie Watson’s debut novel, set in the troubled Niger Delta, does what fiction does best, it captures place and characters so well that you feel you are also there” (author Helon Habila); “Watson has written an immensely absorbing novel. It is both heart wrenching and consoling” (author Chika Unigwe); “An excellent novel. It takes the reader deep into the reality of ordinary life in Nigeria and is also funny, moving and politically alert.” (author Giles Foden)

Bio: British Christie Watson (1976- ) is a pediatric nurse.  “I don’t think nursing is that unusual a day job at all for a writer, because the two cross over massively. They both involve thinking about life and death, and what makes us human; they both involve the big questions.”  Watson lives in South London with her Nigerian Muslim partner, and their large dual heritage, multi-faith family. 

Award:  Costa First Novel award