World Book Day: 5 Books by Nigerian Authors You Should Read

Bookworms all over the world, today is the day to celebrate books and writers that have left a mark on the way you perceive the world. For some of us, reading globally is the way we gain knowledge of what life is like outside of our own. 

In Ireland, Nigerians, who are also English-speakers,  make up the largest African group living in the country. 

Nigeria has a large range of globally known and award-winning authors from the likes of Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and other phenomenal storytellers. 

Here is a list of 5 best-sellers by Nigerian authors you need to read in order to discover the “Giant of Africa” and all she has to offer. 

From Unsplash. Credit: Suad Kamardeen
  1. ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

If you looking for a piece of art that portrays victory and triumph in the middle of disaster, betrayal, and conflict, then this book is the perfect read for you. Half of a Yellow Sun shows an emotional story of love and war. The novel depicts the life and experience of five characters during the Nigerian Civil War of 1967 – 1970. 

In a deeper sense, this book highlights the strong influence our roots carry and the will for people to live freely in their own country. 

Half of a Yellow Sun won Women’s Prize For Fiction 2007. One of the judges, Muriel Gray, for this award said the novel was “astonishing, not just in the skillful subject matter, but in the brilliance of its accessibility”.

Credit: @booksellers_ng on Instagram
  1. ‘Welcome to Lagos’ by Chibundu Onuzo 

“Naija no dey carry last” is a term in Nigerian broken English that simply means “Nigerians do not come last” and this is what is showcased in this book, the hustling nature of people living in Lagos (West of Nigerian). 

Welcome to Lagos is a book packed with Nigerian humor and excitement which is seen in every line of the book. The story talks about an army soldier who becomes the leader of a band of runaways in search of creating a life better than the one they know. 

Creidit: @mywonderbox on Instagram
  1. “We Should All be Feminists” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 

As international Women’s Day is just around the corner, this book would be a perfect read to learn about what it feels like being a woman in Nigeria. 

This pocket-sized book is a personal essay from the author where she offers an insight into what feminism is, or should be, in the 21st century. Drawing from her own experience, she writes a fascinating piece that is rooted in the inclusion and awareness of women, ending with a not so subtle cry for “why we should all be feminists” 

We Should All be Feminists has been translated into 32 different languages. 

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  1. “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe

The white man is very clever. He came quietly with his religion. We were amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay. Now he has won our brothers, and our clan can no longer act like one, he has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart” [extract from the book]

Considered to be one of the most widely read books in modern African literature, and one of the “greatest books ever written” by Encyclopedia Britannica, Things Fall Apart tells the story of the pre-colonial life in Nigeria and the arrival of the British empire in the late 19th century. 

The author, Chinua Achebe, one of Africa’s literary giants, has written a novel that questions the cultural and traditional values and beliefs in Nigeria at the time. 

Credit: @booksxnaps on Instagram
  1. “The Joy of Motherhood” by Buchi Emecheta 

“The joy of being a mother was the joy of giving all to your children” [quote from the book]

Whether you are a mother in Nigeria, in Ireland, or any part of the world, there is a common “joy of motherhood” all mothers feel. 

This book tells a story of a Nigerian woman whose life revolves around her children. The Joy of Motherhood gives a peek into the world of mothers in Nigeria, a country with strong traditions and customs that are now changing. The book also talks about marriage, colonialism, and women’s role in society. 

If you are looking for a book that will give you a rollercoaster of emotions then this book is for you. 

Happy World Book Day.

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