In my quest to add more Nigerian books to my resume, I am amazed at how many quality Nigerian stories there are out there. It’s a bit overwhelming, but I have to start somewhere right. There are several unread books that inspired me to start a book blog but I will be starting with these.
29, Single and Nigerian by Naijasinglegirl
For the uninformed, Naijasinglegirl is an anonymous writer that chronicles her life as a single girl trying to survive in Nigeria. I was surfing the web for NYSC experience stories when I found this blog in 2014. She has had me on a hook since then.
Her posts are beyond hilarious; the accounts have to be seriously exaggerated but you want to believe her anyway. When she launched her first novel, I did a little dance in my head until I realised I couldn’t add it to my budget anytime soon. The novel has been getting really good reviews, you can read excerpts here and here if you’re interested.
What is not yours is not yours by Helen Oyeyemi
I have to thank the book readers of Instagram for bringing this book to my attention. The title is what I would describe as ‘Nigerian English’ and i find myself thinking about this book in Yoruba; it’s a collection of short stories apparently but i have managed to avoid any overly descriptive book review (Say NO to spoilers!!). Hopefully, i will be writing my thoughts on this book soon enough.
Here’s what others are saying about this book,
“It is, in a word, flawless. . . Oyeyemi seems to be incapable of writing anything that’s not wholly original. . . Oyeyemi manages to make the story both realistic and fantastical, and the characters are rendered with grace and compassion. . . [What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours] is a lot of things: dreamy, spellbinding, and unlike just about anything you can imagine. It’s a book that resists comparisons; Oyeyemi’s talent is as unique as it is formidable.” —NPR, Michael Schaub
The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives by Lola Shoneyin
This is another book i noticed was popular among Nigerian readers, even though it was published almost 6 years ago. The story is focused on the dynamics within a modern(ish) polygamous home in Ibadan, Nigeria. This is another first novel, although the writer had published poetry before the release of this book.
You can read excerpts here.
What others are saying:
“More than a cautionary tale about polygamy, The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives is about identity, belonging and the lies that bind. One of the best novels I’ve read on the Nigerian experience in the last ten years.” Molara Wood, Arts & Culture Editor, NEXT
Get the book
Daughters who walk this path by Yejide Kilanko
This novel tells us about the journey a young girl takes while trying to rebuild her life after being a victim of sexual violence.
Praise for this book:
“Though the subject of her novel is one that’ll typically make us avert our eyes, Yejide Kilanko combines an unflinching gaze, a tender heart and a gift for lyrical storytelling. Daughters Who Walk This Path is a necessary book.”
-E.C.Osondu, Winner of the Caine Prize and author Voice of America (Harper Collins 2010)
The Cost of our Lives by Ariyike Akinbobola
This book has been popping up all over my IG so much that i feel i would be doing myself a huge disservice if i don’t read it before it goes out of fashion, Lol!!. Seriously though, it seems like a decent read. It’s about a returnee trying to adjust to life in Nigeria, that is a really short description but i don’t like talking too much on things i know little about. This should change in a few weeks though.
So, what do you think about my to-read list? Are you familiar with any of these titles? If so, let me know how much you enjoyed them (or didn’t). Please no spoilers o, I beg. Thank you.
P.S. Please don’t be afraid to use the share buttons, let your friends know what you spend your data on. 🙂