Back to all writers

Simi Bedford

Novelist Simi Bedford was born in Lagos, Nigeria and sent to boarding school in England when she was six. She read Law at Durham University and has subsequently worked in the media including roles as a radio presenter and a television researcher. She lives in Devon and London.

She has written two books to date. The first, Yoruba Girl Dancing (1991) is a semi-autobiographical tale about a Yoruba girl, Remi, who is sent, like Bedford, from Nigeria to a boarding school in England. The novel explores the development of identity in postcolonial Britain using the Bildungsroman genre. Her second novel, Not With Silver (2007), is an historical novel which explores the slave trade through three generations of an African family from Africa, via the Americas, to Sierra Leone. It was published to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the 1807 act which abolished the slave trade in the British colonies. (hc)


Bedford, Simi. Yoruba Girl Dancing. Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin, 1991. Print.

---. Not With Silver. London: Chatto & Windus, 2007. Print.

Dabydeen, David. “Not With Silver, by Simi Bedford: From slaves to strangers in an African Utopia.” The Independent. 31 Aug. 2007. Web.

Ogundipe-Leslie, Molara “The high cost of a British education.” The Toronto Star. 9 Nov. 1991. Web.

Ogunyemi, Chikwenye Okonjo. Africa Wo/Man Palava: The Nigerian Novel by Women. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996.

Johnson,  Dianne. “Hairitage: Women Writing Race in Children's Literature.” Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature 28.2 (2009): 337-355. JSTOR. PDF file.

 Priebe, Richard K. “Transcultural Identity in African Narratives of Childhood.” In New Directions in African Literature: A Review (ed.) Ernest Emenyo̲nu. Oxford: James Currey Publishers, 2006: 41-52. Print.