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Top 10 Nigerian Books 2013 copy

How do you begin anew? A wise one would say to look back and see what was done right to make it better and see what was done wrong to avoid making the same mistakes again. Our stories have so much to reveal when it comes to reviewing the past, enjoying the moment and envisioning the future. Below is a list of books written by Nigerian authors that attracted most attention from readers for the year 2013. The compilation was done using metrics provided by JUMIA based on, among other parameters, demand by consumers. Some of the authors on this list are reputed for creating classics, namely Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, and Chimamanda Adiche whose book, Americanah, was recently announced as the British Broadcasting Corporation’s Best Book for 2013. There’s no better way to begin the new year than with books. But before that, we need to take a retrospective look at the titles that resonated most in 2013.   10. The Ghost of Sani Abacha Genre: Fiction (Short story) Author: Chuma Nwokolo Number of pages: 309 Publisher/Publication Year: County Books/2012

The Ghost of Sanni Abacha

Short Description: The Ghost of Sani Abacha is a collection of 26 stories which has its setting in Nigeria. Contrary to its title, the book is not about Sani Abacha, the late president of the country, but rather it’s a witty and satirical look at everyday human life occurrences. From these stories, Nwokolo brings to life various issues pertinent to life such as love, betrayal, jealousy, greed, power and pride. It is a narrative of misshapen pasts and the presents surrounding our societal ills.   9. Under a Darkling Sky Genre: Drama Author: Isaac Attah Ogezi Number of pages: 92 Publisher/Publication Year: Hybun Publication International/2012


Short Description: Under a Darkling Sky dramatizes the life and times of Ken Saro-Wiwa, the renowned environmental activist-cum-writer, who placed his community far above his individual life, and eventually paid the supreme price by dying for his Ogoni people in the Niger Delta region of the West African nation-state called Nigeria. Ken Saro-Wiwa was tried by a kangaroo military tribunal, the Ogoni Civil Disturbances Tribunal, convicted and sentenced along with eight other Ogonis to be hanged on trumped-up charges of complicity and incitement of the deaths of four Ogoni elders in May, 1994.   8.  A Bit of Difference Genre: Fiction Author: Sefi Atta Number of pages: 224 Publisher/Publication Year: InterLink Publishing/2012

A Bit of Difference

Short Description: At thirty-nine, Deola Bello, a Nigerian expatriate in London, is dissatisfied with being single and working overseas. Deola works as a financial reviewer for an international charity, and when her job takes her back to Nigeria in time for her father’s five-year memorial service, she finds herself turning her scrutiny inward. In Nigeria, Deola encounters changes in her family and in the urban landscape of her home, and new acquaintances who offer unexpected possibilities. Deola’s journey is as much about evading others’ expectations to get to the heart of her frustration as it is about exposing the differences between foreign images of Africa and the realities of contemporary Nigerian life. Deola’s urgent, incisive voice captivates and guides us through the intricate layers and vivid scenes of a life lived across continents. With Sefi Atta’s characteristic boldness and vision, A Bit of Difference reveals the complexities of our contemporary world. This is a novel not to be missed.   7. Fine Boys Genre: Fiction Author: Eghosa Imasuen Number of pages: 380 Publisher/Publication Year: Farafina-Kachifo/2012


Short Description: Warri, October 1992: Seething with idleness and nonchalance, sick of watching his parents fight, 16-year-old Ewaen is waiting for university to begin, waiting for something to happen. Months later, Ewaen and friends are finally enrolled as freshmen at the University of Benin. Their routine now consists of hanging out in a parking lot trading jibes, chasing girls and sex, and learning to manage the staff strikes and crumbling infrastructure. But Nigerian campuses in the 1990s can be dangerous places, too. Violent confraternities stake territories and stalk for new recruits. An incident of petty crime snowballs into tragedy… Fine Boys is Eghosa Imasuen’s second novel. In the witty, colloquial style fast becoming his trademark, Imasuen presents everyday Nigerian life against the backdrop of the pro-democracy riots of the 1980s and ‘1990s, the lost hopes of June 12th, and the terror of the Abacha years. Indeed Fine Boys is a chronicle of not just a time in Nigeria, but its post-Biafran generation. Fine Boys was first published in e-book format in September, 2011.   6. The Lore of Karmalu Genre: Fiction Author: Azubuike Eyes Okoro Number of pages: 222 Publisher/Publication Year: CreateSpace/2012


Short Description: Drawing a thin line between fact and fiction; this tale proves that reality can be more DRAMATIC than any fiction. A transcendental concept of retribution that cuts across the oriental, western, and eastern cultures of the world. Artistically portrayed here in popular culture and for POSTERITY. The Lore of Karmalu is a metaphysical gift from the Igbo people of West Africa to the world. The individual versus the society; morality is put to test in the sociopolitical arena of the largest black nation. Accentuated by an abstraction of graphic illustrations, this story takes the imagination to uncanny dimensions. The author blends the three forms of writing: Poetry, Prose and Drama into a seamless story telling device; a style he calls his own.   5.  City of Memories Genre: Fiction Author: Richard Ali Number of pages: 296 Publisher/Publication Year: Black Palms/2012

City of Memories

Short Description: City of Memories follows four characters negotiating the effect of various traumas. Towering above them is the story of Ummi al-Qassim, a princess of Bolewa, and the feud that attended her love—first for a nobleman, then for a poet—a feud that bequeaths her with madness and death. All four are bracketed by the modern city of Jos in Central Nigeria, where political supremacy and perverse parental love become motives for an ethno-religious eruption calculated to destroy the Nigeria State .   4. Of Africa Genre: Essay collection Author: Wole Soyinka Number of pages: 224 Publisher/Publication Year: Yale University Press/2012

Of Africa Wole Soyinka

Short Description: In this book, Soyinka offers a wide-ranging inquiry into Africa’s culture, religion, history, imagination and identity. He seeks to understand how the continent’s history is entwined with the histories of others, while exploring Africa’s truest assets: “its humanity, the quality and valuation of its own existence, and modes of managing its environment – both physical and intangible (which includes the spiritual). Fully grasping the extent of Africa’s most challenging issues, Soyinka nevertheless refuses defeatism. With eloquence he analyzes problems ranging from the meaning of the past to the threat of theocracy. He asks hard question about racial attitudes, inter-ethnic and religious violence, the viability of nations whose boundaries were laid out by outsiders, African identity on the continent and among displaced Africans and more. Soyinka’s exploration of Africa relocates the continent in the reader’s imagination and maps a course towards an African future of peace and affirmation.   3. Americanah Genre: Novel/Fiction Author: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Number of pages: 477 Publisher/Publication Year: Knopf Publishing group/2013


Short Description: The book starts up with two teenagers Ifemelu and Obinze who met in secondary school and fell in love. Their Nigeria is under dictactorship and people are leaving the country if they can. Ifemelu left for America to study and went through several ordeals, difficult and sweet, in the process of finding and losing relationships. Obinze had hoped to join her but post 9/11 America did not let him in and so he plunges into a dangerous life in London. Years later, Obinze is a wealthy man in a democratic Nigeria while Ifemelu has achieved success as the writer of an eye-opening blog about race in America. When Ifemelu returns to Nigeria, they reignited their shared passion for their country and for each other; facing the greatest decisions of their lives.   2. The Accidental Public Servant Genre: Autobiography Author: Nasir El- Rufai Number of pages: 627 Publisher/Publication Year: Safari Books/2013

The Accidental public Servant

Short Description: The overall theme of the book revolves around the intriguing journey of an individual from very humble beginnings in an idyllic post-independence era, in a rural part of Kastina, northern Nigeria, to occupying one of the highest public offices in 21st Century Nigeria. The reader glimpses into how El-Rufai’s fiercely independent, resolute, feisty and cerebral personality evolves from the tragedy of his father’s passing, the calculated attrition against Sunday, the primary school bully, the role-model influence of his brother in his early years and becoming a self-made private sector millionaire by his mid-twenties (p.36).   1. There was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra Genre: Non-Fiction Author: Chinua Achebe Number of pages: 256 Publisher/Publication Year: Penguin: Allen Lane/2012

There Was a Country

Book Description: The defining experience of Chinua Achebe’s life was the Nigerian Civil War, also known as the Biafran War of 1967-1970. The war was infamous around the world for its savage impact on the Biafran people, who were blockaded by the Nigerian government and starved to death. As a roving cultural ambassador for his government, Achebe absorbed the war’s full horror from this unique vantage. Immediately after the war, Achebe took refuge in an academic post in the United States, and for over forty years he has maintained a considered silence on the events of those terrible years, addressing them only obliquely through his poetry. Now, years in the making, at last comes a towering reckoning from Achebe with one of modern Africa’s most fateful experiences.    

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This article was first published on 24th December 2013 and updated on January 20th, 2014 at 8:47 am

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