Fascinating Must-Read Nigerian Novels

Why Nigerian novels, you ask?

There are some fascinating must-read Nigerian novels. You are truly losing out if you have never read a novel written by a Nigerian author. There is a slew of amazing Nigerian authors working on books that will move you. They will make you laugh, cry, and transport you. Their books span multiple historical periods and will transport you to Nigeria, the Nigerian-American experience, and fantastic Nigerian-inspired fantasy worlds. Here are twelve books that will keep you wanting more—some timeless modern classics, others instant bestsellers by debut authors. Here are Naysblog’s top 5 of the most fascinating must-read Nigerian novels:


The Iconic:

  1. Nnedi Okorafor’s Lagoon: Chaos follows after word spreads on the Internet that aliens have landed in the waters. Military officials, religious leaders, crooks, and crackpots are all attempting to dominate the message on YouTube and in the streets. Meanwhile, the world’s political superpowers are debating whether or not to unleash a preemptive nuclear strike to expel the invaders.
  2. Oyinkan Braithwaite’s My Sister, the Serial Killer: Her sister is a serial killer who keeps bumping off her men. She’s helping her cover up her crimes, thus Korede keeps to herself. Korede considers it her obligation to look after her lovely, charming, psychotic sister. So she goes to work at the hospital, pining after a dashing doctor.  And then she prevents Ayoola from posting photographs on Instagram while she’s meant to be lamenting her “missing” boyfriends. However, when Korede’s crush requests Ayoola’s phone number, she must decide. Is prepared to risk his life to protect her sister.

The Classics:

  1. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus: The story follows a pair of affluent siblings living in Nigeria in this debut novel by the author of AMERICANAH. The siblings are transported to their aunt as the country begins to fall apart due to a military coup. Here they discover life outside of their home. This is an amazing tale about adolescent emotional anguish, strong familial relationships, and the bright promise of freedom.
  2. Tope Folarin’s A Particular Kind of Black Man: Living in small-town Utah is a hardship for Tunde Akinola’s family, especially his Nigerian-born parents. This is a sweeping, emotional drama about family and identity. Tunde’s father pursues the American dream as his lonely mother slips deeper into schizophrenia. And he himself fights to fit in at school. Tunde’s mother abandons them to return to Nigeria. Afterward, he spends the rest of his childhood and young adulthood looking for a connection. Connections to the stepmother and stepbrother he gains when his father remarries. Then to the African American students in his middle school, and to the fraternity brothers at his historically Black college.
  3. Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart: Chinua Achebe’s massive novel embraces the life of nature, human history, and the unfathomable compulsions of the soul. This makes it a true modern masterpiece. Okonkwo is a wealthy and strong Igbo warrior from Umuofia in the late 1800s. He fights futilely against the British political and ecclesiastical forces’ devaluation of his traditions. And he despairs as his village submits to the dominant new order.

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