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20 best Nigerian books to read: once in a lifetime

If you haven’t read a book authored by a Nigerian, I must ask “What are you waiting for?”. Well, you can start from these 20 best Nigerian books to read.

There are books that should be read at least once in a lifetime even if you are not a book lover. There are books that tells you more about your origin and where you come from, books that explains yourself to you and books that makes you understand the past as well. These kinds of books should be read at least once, i.e. ‘if you are not a book lover’. But if you are a book lover, you should probably read those books more than once to fully comprehend them.

Nigeria is a country with so many renowned authors, whose books has won several awards such authors starting from the 1986 winner of Nobel prize in literature  Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Chimamanda Adichie, Buchi Emecheta, Cyprian Ekwensi, Ola Rotimi, J.P Clark, Elechi Amadi, Flora Nwapa, Femi Osofisan,  and many more renowned authors whose works are great.

Without further ado, the 20 best Nigerian books to read: at least once in a lifetime are:

BOOKS BY CHINUA ACHEBE

1.  Things fall apart

The novel is about the life of Okonkwo an Igbo man who is a local wrestling champion, who is well respected in his village and who wouldn’t accept the new ways of the white man. The novel depicts the pre-colonial life of the southeastern part of Nigeria and the invasion of the Europeans. Reading this novel will make you learn some of the Igbo culture.

2. No longer at ease

This is a sequel of Things fall apart. It is about the life of Obi Okonkwo, whom after his studies in Britain got a job in the Nigerian colonial civil service contrary to working in a law firm which his village people had hoped for.

3. Arrow of God

A novel that is centered on Ezeulu the chief priest of several Igbo villages and his struggles with accepting the Christian missionaries.

4. There was a country

This book got the author reviews from great persons like Nelson Mandela etc. It is a personal account of the Nigerian civil war also known as Biafran war. This book made me understand some of the things that happened during the war, it gave me much clue to how some things started. It is a book you would want to start reading now if you want to know more about the war.

BOOKS BY  CHIMAMANDA ADICHIE

5. Purple Hibiscus

Is all about a wealthy family in the post-colonial Nigeria whose father is devoutly catholic and a violet figure. The story is told through Kambili’s eyes and is essentially about the disintegration of her family unit and her struggle to grow to maturity.

6. Half of a yellow sun

This is also a novel that talked about the Biafran war. It has a movie ( for those who prefer watching than reading). The novel also has romance, betrayal and love as it’s theme.

7. The thing around her neck

This is a collection of short stories. The author used different person narration in the stories, which for me, made it very interesting. My best is “Tomorrow is too far”.

8. Americanah

This novel made me know more about America without going to America. It’s about the love story of Ifemelu and her life in both Nigeria and the United States.

BOOKS BY WOLE SOYINKA

9. The lion and the jewel

This is a play that was first performed in 1959 in Ibadan.  The play chronicles how Baroka, the lion, fights with the modern Lakunle over the right to marry Sidi, the titular Jewel.

10. The trials of brother Jero

This is a satiric comedy play about Brother Jero, who manipulates and deceives his followers who are gullible enough to believe him because he understands what they long for: Money, social status and power.

BOOKS BY BUCHI EMECHETA

11. Second class citizen

This is a semi-autobiography of the author. This novel is about a Nigerian woman Adah, who overcome strict tribal domination of women and setbacks on her journey to attain independent for herself and her children. This story made me cry.

12. The bride price

This for me is the tragic-story of Akunna’s life. It deals with the problems of women in the post-colonial Nigeria. It was the first novel of the author ‘Buchi Emecheta’.

13. The joys of motherhood

In this novel, Emecheta reveals and celebrates the pleasures derived from fulfilling responsibilities related to family matters in child bearing, mothering, and nurturing activities among women. The author also highlights how the ‘joys of motherhood’ also include anxiety, obligation, and pain

BOOKS BY  CYPRIAN EKWENSI

14. Burning Grass

The story is about the series of adventures involving the Fulani Sunsaye family, particularly Mai Sunsaye, who is the  head of the household and chief of Dokan Toro.

BOOKS BY  OLA ROTIMI

15. The gods are not to blame

Story about Odewale who unknowingly committed an abomination that brought death.

16. Our husband has gone mad again

A hilarious and interesting play about polygamy in Nigeria.

BOOKS BY  ELECHI AMADI

17. The concubine

A story about a beautiful woman who brought death to her lovers.

18. The great pond

Its about the battles of two Eastern Nigeria villages over a fishing area.

BOOKS BY FLORA NWAPA

19. Efuru

This is the first book written by a Nigerian woman Flora Nwapa, she is the first African woman to be published internationally. The novel is about Efuru an independent-minded woman.

20. Wives at war and other stories

This is the collection of short stories about  women fighting heroic wars.

Conclusion 

You definitely would love to read these books because it is necessary you do, especially if you are a Nigerian and wants to know the history of your country. These books are very good for fun because they are interesting, educating and contains lots of information in them.

Which of the books have you read? Which of the books will you start with? Let me know in the comment section below, so we can discuss. And if you have read anyone and feel it should have been included do drop the name in the comment section too.

Thanks for reading! xoxo

You need reasons why you should start reading books?  Click here 

 

 

 

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