Americanah is a sprawling heart-wrenching love-story told across three countries: Nigeria, the United States of America and the United Kingdom. It’s intense yet warm, honest yet subtle, mixing a range of subjects from racism and hair to religion. The story is told through the lenses of Ifemelu and Obinze, two young high school sweethearts and wraps around their journey to self discovery as they mature to adulthood. Ifemelu is the central character, though not a very likable one and her story is told via flashbacks. Thus, the past is recounted, sandwiched between the present.
The year that Barack Obama makes history as the first black American President, is the year that Obi, a lawyer, makes 29 years and it works as a wakeup call for him- it is the year that he realizes he needs to settle down with a wife, and it is the year that he decides he needs a career change.
For a first time novelist, Yejide Kilanko writes with a level of maturity, elegance, and power that belies her relative newness to the writing craft. Published by Penguin Canada, her debut novel, Daughters Who Walk This Path, is set in modern day Nigeria and tells the story of a young girl growing up in a society that remains largely patriarchal and where old traditions, good and bad, still abound.
Buchi Emechata tells an award winning story that centers around Ogbanje Ojebeta, a girl sold off by her very own blood into slavery to the house of Ma Palagada and husband.
Nigeria’s Rotimi Babatunde has won the 2012 Caine Prize for African Writing for his short story entitled Bombay’s Republic, which was published in Mirabilia Review’ Vol. 3.9 (Lagos, 2011). Babatunde received a cash prize of £10,000 prize at a dinner held Monday, July 2, 2012 at the Bodleian Library in Oxford.
Julius, the main character in Teju Cole’s Open City, is a German-Nigerian immigrant who works as a resident doctor in a New York City psychiatric clinic. As we follow him, meandering – initially aimlessly – through the streets in his neighborhood and beyond, our eyes and minds are opened to much more than the sidewalks, the brownstones, the parks and other vistas passing by at walking pace.What evolves as we are drawn deeper and deeper into the narration and the narrator’s mind is much more than another “stream-of-consciousness” story or another literary introduction to New York City and some of its illustrious people.
Chimeka Garricks deals with one of the major challenges facing Nigeria, namely the oil militancy in the Niger-Delta. Through the lives of four friends, he explores the origin of the oil militancy issue and the role of self-serving politicians and rulers who sell out their people for money. He describes how for many Nigerians living in the Niger-Delta, the tomorrow indeed, died yesterday due to the action of these greedy elders. This is a thought provoking book – one that, however, makes clear that violence is not the solution to the problems faced by the Niger-Deltans.
Best known for her 2009 book, The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives, which deals with the subject of polygamy, Lola Shoneyin is is a Nigerian poet and author. A teacher by profession, Shoneyin holds a teaching degree from the London Metropolitan University. She is currently a deputy principal at an international secondary School in Abuja, Nigeria, where she also teaches English and drama.
Soyinka paints a different perception of the street urchins otherwise known as ‘area boys’ in Nigeria. Where society generally views them as a group of no-gooders, thieves, pranksters and miscreants, Soyinka portrays them here as a set of people who are as responsible as the next person, and are only busy going about the business of survival.
A Love Rekindled is Myne Whitman’s second novel (published in March 2011 by CreateSpace). Set in contemporary Nigeria, the book centers around two embittered ex-lovebirds, Efe Sagay and Kevwe Mukoro. The story starts several years after the breakup of their high school relationship.