In no particular order, we present to you top 10 books published in the year 2020 by Nigerian authors, old and young. This is in recognition of their tenacity, skill, artistry and level-headedness in the face of a very tough year for creatives.
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Chronicles Of The Happiest People On Earth – Wole Soyinka
Soyinka’s ‘’Chronicles of the Happiest People on Earth’’ was published towards the end of 2020 but it is part of our chart because it is undoubtedly one of the biggest things that happened in the world of writing in Nigeria, this year. Nobel Laureate, Soyinka, returned to release his first novel in 48 years since the release of The Season of Anomy in 1972. The novel ‘’Chronicles of the Happiest People on Earth’’ is about four friends who formed an alliance in view of making an impactful change in their nation. All their life, their paths have been interwoven with that of prominent government, community, and religious leaders. With time, the tide turns against them with dire consequences.
The Death Of Vivek Oji – Akwaeke Emezi
Akwaeke Emezi’s ability to inhabit different worlds and genres, twist them to their will, and bring the truth into play for reality was at the fore in “The Death of Vivek Oji”. The novel which is Akwaeke Emezi’s third after globally acclaimed Freshwater (2018) and Pet (2019), depicts the mystery behind murder. A family drama that exposes invisibility. A young misunderstood man’s death in a small Nigerian town forces his family members to reexamine their lives. Readers are left pondering how far the Vivek Oji story will go after his death on the first page. However, Akwaeke makes the tale more interesting as those left behind found out they knew less about the person they claimed to know and love.
Zikora – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Popular Nigerian writer, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, returned to the world of fiction after seven years of absence with her short story ‘’Zikora.’’ The exceptional literary piece tells the story of Zikora, a single Nigerian lawyer residing in Washington, D.C. Dumped by her lover while pregnant. Zikora is confronted with the challenges of journeying into motherhood alongside a tense relationship with her high demanding mum who shows up to help her through the process.
Loving Gladys – Ibiene Bidiaque
A collection of poems and short stories, Ibiene Bidiaque’s ‘’Loving Gladys’’ captures the everyday yearnings of Nigerian citizens. Passionate about Nigeria, Ibiene takes readers on a ride through the streets of the Nigerian reality.’’ It explores diverse themes such as love, loss, mental illness, incompetence, corruption, patriotism, and more.
Dear Elona: Letters To My Friends, The Brides And Brides-To-Be – Joy Ehonwa
Joy Ehonwa in ‘’Dear Elona,’’ provides answers to women thinking about relationships and marriage. Questions regarding choosing the wrong partner for marriage, reuniting with your ex, sex education, and more, were explored by Ehonwa.
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Naked – Ese Ark
Ese Ark’s ‘’Naked’’ is a strong narrative about self-awareness and awakening. With the use of personal experiences relating to religion, fear, mental health, romantic relationships, shame, and death, Ese depicts her path through sleepwalking to awakening. The author calls this piece her journey to self owing to the fact that until she turned 29, she was navigating roughly through life, unaware of lessons in her experiences.
Rid Me Of This- Aisha Oredola
Aisha Oredola’s ‘’Rid Me Of This’’ tells the story of Kunbi, an irregular and intelligent, but disturbed maths guru who owing to her distinct nature was labelled a witch in her teenage years. Kunbi’s nature would earn her a worthy rival in William who after testing her scorn, is trapped in her world. William would eventually find out the true identity of Kunbi but for a short duration. With time, a family secret that outdates the birth of Kunbi haunts her because she is ‘the chosen one,’ a tool she can destroy or control her family with. However, when she finds out how devoid her family’s secret makes her, how it does not go in tandem with everything she loves, her quest for liberation sees her deploy every escape route available.
First Impressions – Margaret Adetimehin
The first piece in the Flawed Perfection series of international Bestselling Author, Margaret Adetimehin, “First Impressions” is an African romantic comedy of millennials who in search of opportunities, find love amidst a web of friendship and commitment. Though they are of different ideologies and skin, one thing binds them all together; the need to “find happily ever after” while maintaining self.
Twisted – Stanley Umezulike
Stanley Umezulike captures perfectly the question of parental interference in the children’s choice of life partners in the Nigerian society with ‘’Twisted.’’ The book tells the story of how the Obi family that once lived a happy and charming life, hangs in the balance after their only son decides to marry a woman whom his parents did not consider worthy enough. In a bid to build a happy life with his bride, Emeka decides to distance himself from his family, but he would find himself immersed in desperate schemes by his parents, as things got out of hand when he discovers a secret capable of tearing the family apart.
Her Back On Different Beds – Anthonia Oluwatumininu Elemoso
The author tried to capture the life of women whose emotional weakness makes them fall prey to men only interested in having sex with them rather than love them. Leah in a frantic search of love and companionship offers all she got to every man who promises what she needs. This piece is a great idea for every woman going through the journey of self-discovery and self-love.
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