Rising Star: Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani, author

Boyd Tonkin
Friday 08 May 2009 00:00 BST

Many noisily plugged new novelists write about nothing in particular, and not very well. So when a modest debut slips out that not merely explores a side of modern existence that touches millions every day, but does so with wit, warmth and insight, it's time to raise a loud cheer.

Born in 1976, Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani grew up in eastern Nigeria and now lives in Abuja. She won her first writing competition aged 13. And inbox surfers will spot from its title the aspect of Nigerian life that lends a plot motor to her first novel: 'I Do Not Come To You By Chance' (Weidenfeld & Nicolson).

Yes, here is the weird world of email scams – "419" frauds – laid bare in all its tawdry, funny, all-too-human glory. A credible family story underpins the gleeful comedy as ill-starred Kingsley revives his career thanks to uncle "Cash Daddy": the figure behind those offers of "$58,000,000.00 (fifty-eight million USD)" that – let's be frank – have once or twice tempted all of us.

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