DIANA ANYAKWO was born in 1974 in Lagos, Nigeria. She is of mixed Irish and Nigerian heritage. She moved to the UK when she was a teenager and later graduated from the University of Manchester with a degree in Molecular Biology and a Masters in Bioreactor Systems. She spent three years in Athens, Greece where she taught English and worked as an editor at an educational publisher.
She currently lives and works in Manchester as a freelance writer and editor of English Language teaching materials. She completed a course in Creative Writing with the University of East Anglia.
Her debut novel is inspired by the against-all-odds marriage of her own parents. The Other Side of the Sun begins in 1948, in the British colony of Nigeria. Obi is an ambitious and bright young man who bears the burden of fulfilling his father's broken dreams while also living in denial of his mental illness. He does not know it yet, but he is schizophrenic. Despite this, he succeeds in winning a place to study medicine at Trinity College, Dublin in 1949. Here he meets a restless yet withdrawn young Irish Catholic woman called Mara. She lives with her mother on the same street where he is staying, and they bond through their shared love of literature. Just as they are beginning a tentative romance, Obi is forced to abruptly tell Mara that he must return to Nigeria to marry a girl chosen by his uncle. Frustrated and heartbroken, Mara seeks to escape her dull and stifling life by completing her own education. By chance, or perhaps destiny, Mara and Obi next meet in Nigeria, where Mara has taken a post with the British government in Enugu. The two fall in love all over again and attempt to forge a life together. But when the Biafran War erupts, Obi's schizophrenia, which he had kept secret from Mara, relapses and she must find the courage to save her husband while escaping back to Ireland with their two small children. The story ends in 1970 with a new start for Obi and Mara in Nigeria as the country emerges from war. The Other Side of the Sun introduces an uplifting new voice in multicultural fiction, and will delight readers all over the world.