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Book Title: Efuru|
The author of the book: Flora Nwapa
ISBN 13: 9780435900267
Format files: PDF
Loaded: 2884 times
Reader ratings: 7.1
The size of the: 9.30 MB
City - Country: No data
Edition: Heinemann Educational Books
Date of issue: June 1st 1966
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Published in 1966, this apparently was the first book written by a Nigerian woman to be published (this is from Wiki so take with a pinch of salt). It is set in the same area and tradition as Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. The blurb with the book sums it up;
“Efuru, beautiful and respected, is loved and deserted by two ordinary undistinguished husbands.”
The setting is rural and Efuru is a woman who is independent and competent and trades for herself. The writing style is very similar to Things Fall Apart and if you enjoyed that you would certainly enjoy this. Like Achebe, Nwapa commentates rather than judges, but the messages are clear and this book is about the society of women in the same way Things Fall Apart is about the society of men. In my judgement this novel is every bit as good as Things Fall Apart and yet it is hardly known. Just look at the difference in ratings; Things Fall Apart has 141 386 ratings and 5993 reviews and Efuru has 193 ratings and 17 reviews. This is not because of a difference in quality; they are both great books and in my opinion Efuru is marginally better. Perhaps because it is written by a woman? Surely not?
The story opens a window onto customs and traditions going back centuries which are beginning to die out with younger generations and the encroachment of white culture and medicine. There is a not too graphic but very powerful description of genital mutilation. Efuru is a wonderfully strong and vibrant character; apart from her father the men in her life are pretty useless and she concludes she is better off without them. She appears to be unable to produce lots of children and this is a source of sadness for her but she finds a role model in the form of the goddess of the lake who is beautiful, powerful, and independent and without children.
This is a great novel; much too neglected and well worth looking out for.
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Read information about the authorFlorence Nwanzuruahu Nkiru Nwapa (13 January 1931 – 16 October 1993) was a Nigerian author best known as Flora Nwapa. Her novel Efuru (1966) is among the first English-language novels by a woman from Africa.
Nwapa, born in Oguta, was the forerunner to a generation of African women writers. While never considering herself a feminist, she is best known for recreating life and traditions from a woman's viewpoint. In 1966 her book Efuru became Africa's first internationally published female novel in the English language (Heinemann Educational Books). She has been called the mother of modern African literature. Later she went on to become the first African woman publisher of novels when she founded Tata Press.
She also is known for her governmental work in reconstruction after the Biafran War. In particular she worked with orphans and refugees that where displaced during the war. Further she worked as a publisher of African literature and promoted women in African society. Flora Nwapa died on 16 October 1993 in Enugu, Nigeria.
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