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Nwapa, Flora

woman nigerian village war

(Nigerian, 1931–98)

Nwapa worked as a teacher in Eastern Nigeria, and was for a time the Commissioner for Lands, Survey and Urban Development in the East. She was the first Nigerian woman to be published. Her first novel, Efuru (1966), was a ground-breaking book, describing the life of a village woman whose first marriage fails and whose daughter dies; who through no fault of her own is destined never to be a conventional wife and mother. Nwapa's originality lies in putting the woman centre-stage; in exploring her individual, human thoughts and feelings, against the traditional assumptions about female roles. Idu (1970), also set in a village, celebrates married love, and Never Again (1976) features a heroine who is on the Biafran side in the Nigerian civil war. Nwapa has also written short stories, including Wives at War (1980).

Buchi Emecheta, Bessie Head, Tsitsi Dangarembga  JR

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