An Abundance of Scorpions


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Following a horrific tragedy, Tambay leaves Kano for Accra to live with her brother, Aminu. Sadly, her dream of a new beginning is dashed when she can no longer endure the indignity she suffers at the hands of her brother’s new wife.

Tambaya returns to northern Nigeria and soon finds work as a matron in an orphanage, under the watchful eye of the ruthless Miss Scholastica. Just when she begins to settle into her new life, an unexpected visit threatens to destroy everything she has worked so hard to build. Tambaya faces moral dilemmas on all sides, but she must stop her life from unravelling once again.

Vulnerable, and surrounded by malice, corruption and greed, Tambaya struggles to shape her destiny. An Abundance of Scorpions charts one woman’s journey through grief and uncertainty to a road that leads to self-discovery, redemption and love.

“An Abundance of Scorpions is both a heartbreaking tale of loss and an uplifting story of a woman’s strength and determination to overcome whatever obstacles life throws in her path, written in clear, direct prose. A pleasure to read.”

—Helon Habila, Author of Oil on Water and The Chibok Girls

“A clear-eyed, well-paced novel written with warmth and confidence. Muslim women protagonists are scarce and it is exciting to be in the company of Tambaya, a strong heroine we can embrace, one who is easy to identify with, to root for and to admire.”

—Leila Aboulela, Author of Minaret and The Kindness of Enemies

“Acutely imagined and cleverly executed, An Abundance of Scorpions tells Tambaya’s story of loss and what the human spirit is capable of when it summons the strength to live again and to rise.”

—Richard Ali, Author of City of Memories

“A bold and riveting story of love and family tragedy, told through the tender voice of a heroine who found strength and hope in the abyss of loss. The narrative redefines love as a bond that connects two souls, long after they have been separated by death.”

—Odafe Atogun, Author of Taduno’s Song and Wake Me When I’m Gone

Additional information

Weight 0.400 kg
Author Picture

Hadiza Isma El-Rufai

Born in Kano, Hadiza Isma El-Rufai holds BSc and MSc degrees in Architecture from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria, and an MBA degree from the same university. She also has an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University, Bath, UK.

She is the founder of the Yasmin El-Rufai Foundation which aims to awaken and nurture creativity in children, and improve the literacy skills of disadvantaged young women in northern Nigeria.

Hadiza currently lives in Kaduna with her husband and children. An Abundance of Scorpions is her first novel.

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