Book Salon: Abi Ishola-Ayodeji, "Patience is a Subtle Thief"

Thursday, February 23, 2023

6:00 pm — 7:30 pm

9100: Skylight Room

Open to the Public

Journalist Abi Ishola-Ayodeji in conversation with Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond to discuss Ishola-Ayodeji's new book, "Patience is a Subtle Thief"

Headshot of Ishola-Ayodeji, followed by the book cover and a headshot of co-speaker, Brew-Hammond
Admission Price



All attendees must register online prior to the event.

The Center for the Study of Women and Society is pleased to present a Book Salon with Emmy Award Winning Journalist, Abi Ishola-Ayodeji, in conversation with Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond, to discuss Ishola-Ayodeji's acclaimed debut novel, Patience is a Subtle Thief.

Patience is a Subtle Thief is a coming-of-age story about young Nigerians striving to realize their dreams during the country’s political turmoil in the early 1990s. The story's protagonist, 18-year-old Patience Adewale, enters a life of fraud in Lagos to gather the money she needs to reunite with her estranged mother in America. Set against the backdrop of the country's historic 1993 election, Patience faces unexpected consequences and the realities of her most dangerous job as Nigerians endure the strain of instability after years of military dictatorships, the dashed hope for democracy, and bloody protests. The book tackles patriarchy, classism, and how people are made to wait for basic human rights and social change.

Co-sponsored with the Center for the Humanities, the CUNY Graduate Center, the MA Program in Liberal Studies, the CUNY Graduate Center Library, The Feminist Press, and Women's Studies Quarterly. 

About the Speakers

Abi Ishola-Ayodeji is the author of Patience is a Subtle Thief (2022, HarperVia/HarperCollins). The novel was dubbed one of the best books of May 2022 by BuzzFeed and received a coveted Kirkus starred review.

Ishola-Ayodeji is an Emmy award winning journalist who has written and produced for various platforms including, PBS,, CUNY TV, and more. In 2017, ESSENCE Magazine named her among its Woke 100 Women for launching Beyond Classically Beautiful, an acclaimed photo series turned lifestyle brand that challenges society’s beauty standards and celebrates Black women who defy the status quo.

As a first generation Nigerian American, Ishola-Ayodeji grew up in Miami Gardens, Florida, but treasures her brief stint in secondary school in Lagos. She moved to New York City in 2001 to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology and finished in 2004 with a degree in Advertising and Marketing Communications. Later she received a Masters degree from the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism. Follow her on IG and Twitter, @aishola and visit her website,

Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond is the editor of RELATIONS: An Anthology of African and Diaspora Voices, and the author of the children’s picture book BLUE: A History of the Color as Deep as the Sea and as Wide as the Sky, illustrated by Caldecott Honor Artist Daniel Minter, and the young adult novel Powder Necklace, which Publishers Weekly called “a winning debut.” Her short fiction for adult readers is included in the anthologies Accra Noir, edited by Nana-Ama Danquah; Africa39: New Writing from Africa South of the Sahara, edited by Ellah Wakatama Allfrey; New Daughters of Africa, edited by Margaret Busby; Everyday People: The Color of Life, edited by Jennifer Baker; and Woman’s Work, edited by Michelle Sewell, among others. Forthcoming from Brew-Hammond are a novel and children’s picture book. Brew-Hammond was a 2019 Edward F. Albee Foundation fellow, a 2018 Aké Arts and Book Festival guest author, a 2017 Aspen Ideas Festival Scholar, a 2016 Hedgebrook writer in residence, and a 2015 Rhode Island Writers Colony writer in residence. Every month, Brew-Hammond co-leads a writing fellowship whose mission is to write light into darkness. Follow her: @nanaekuawriter (FB and IG), @nanaekua on Twitter.


CUNY attendees must show proof of vaccination by presenting a valid CUNY Access Pass through the CLEARED4 health validation platform upon entry. Non-CUNY visitors will need to show proof of ID by presenting a valid government-issued photo document. See the full Building Entry Policy for more information.