We mark this year’s international women’s day by compiling a list of books by women that have unarguably changed and keeps changing and shaping our world.

Efuru by Flora Nwapa

This book in its masterful simplicity will draw you in and keep you in even when you have closed the pages. It follows the story of Efuru, a cultural Igbo woman who, against all odds, chooses to stay strong and true to herself. Published in 1966, Flora Nwapa’s Efuru set the stage for women writing women in Africa.

Embracing my Shadow: Growing Up Lesbian in Nigeria by Unoma Azuah

Nobody was speaking up and I wanted to speak up – Unoma Azuah

Embracing my shadow is compelling, bold and brilliant. It is a memoir in which the author uses her own life experiences to‘speak up’ and reflect what it means to be lesbian in Nigeria. But this is not just a personal narrative, as David Ishaya Osu rightfully remarked, it is also “a manifesto for love, freedom and bravery.”

Joys of Motherhood by Buchi Emecheta

Nnu Ego, daughter of Chief Agbadi, is a product of firm patriarchal culture. Her dreams and aspirations are reduced to one thing: her ability to bear children, male children as such. But having succeeded in birthing so many children, she doubtsif it has all been worth it.

Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Half of a Yellow Sun which won the 2007 Women’s Prize for Fiction is a heartfelt historical novel. It chronicles the lives of the characters navigating through the Biafra-Nigerian war. It is also a story of love, betrayal, loss, loyalty and all things home to humanity.

Ordinary Heaven by Ladan Osman

Ordinary Heaven was selected as part of the New Generation African Poets Box Set in 2014. Ladan Osman’s craft is bothrefreshing and poignant. Encountering each poem in this collection is like encountering something that is beyond one’s self, but which actually is very intimate to human reality.

Bright Dead Things by Ada Limon

This poetry collection by the Mexican-American poet, Ada Limon, was named a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award in Poetry. It is a collection of timeless poems in which each line that follows is a surprise to both speaker and reader. It tugs at the deepest level of human consciousness. You will need this book for each time it gets too loud out there.

Teaching My Mother How to give Birth by Warshan Shire

Warshan Shire’s poetry is stunning, imagistic and memorable. Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth explores intimate realities of life, and women experiences.

Ariel Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath’s Ariel is poetry in its most expressive and its most musical form. Its content is permeated by themes of death and sadness.

Woman Hating by Andrea Dworkin

Dworkin’s Woman Hating is unapologetically radical feminism. It is an action/revolution to end sexism, the system of male dominance. Although published in 1974, this book is still very urgent today.

Girl Woman Other by Bernadine Evaristo

Girl Woman Other is a compelling read, it won the Booker Prize in 2019. The novel records the lives of its ‘unconventional’ characters on their personal journeys through life. The book issimply intense. The characters are many, but they will all remain fresh in your mind. Girl Woman Other is a master’s craft.

Give Away

Recommend five books by women that shaped our world in the comment section and win cash and other prizes.

Guidelines

You must recommend five books, with short descriptions of each book. All comments must be made on this post. Any comment on any other platform will not be considered. All comments to be considered must be sent before 9pm today. Winners will be announced by 9pm, 8 March, 2021.

Prizes to be Won

1st prize—#5,000

2nd prize—#2,500 worth of airtime

3rd prize—#1,500 worth of airtime

Comments (9)

  1. Reply

    In Homegoing, Yaa writes on the entire black American narrative from the viewpoints of characters connected in a Ghanian family tree from beyond the times of slavery through to post slavery era.

    In Stay With Me, the writer exposes the trials of a Western Nigerian family as regards childbearing, miscarriages and the sickle cell anemia.

    In The History of Love, we follow the life of Jewish immigrants in the late twentieth century United States.

    In the Binti Trilogy, Nnedi takes us on a fantastic flight through the life of a young girl who has to come up with ways to unite her people, their neighbours and the foreigners, Nnedi does this blending historical facts and possibilities with a futuristic reality.

    In Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennett mesmerises us with exceptional character and we watch her achieve her dreams against odds. Jane writes so well

    The Children of Blood and Bone is fiery and we become even more heated with each warrior scene and more human by the letter.

  2. Reply

    Homegoing – Yaa Gyasi
    Stay With Me – Ayobami Adebayo
    Children of Blood and Bone – Toni Adeyemi
    History of love – Nicole Krauss
    Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

  3. Stanley Chukwuemeka

    Reply

    1. Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi
    Freshwater explores identity, spirituality, mental health, abuse & living in the in-between life. It’s a prose birthed in poetry.

    2. Becoming by Michelle Obama
    This is a memoir in which we encounter the journey of a great woman who out of odds and challenges of life thrives beyond expectations.

    3. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou.
    This is an autobiographical freedom yearning text that pictures and documents the lives of black folks.

    4.The Colour Purple by Alice Walker
    A powerful text about the double oppression of being a woman and being black.

    5. On Black Sisters Street by Chika Unigwe
    This tells the story of four African women who left home hoping for brighter futures while working as commercial sex workers in Belgium.

  4. Chizoba Ogueri

    Reply

    1. SHE-WOLVES: delivers a compelling, eye-opening examination of women and power in England, witnessed through the lives of six women who exercised power against all odds—and invokes a discussion of how little has changed through the centuries.

    2. MADAM SECRETARY, Madeleine Albright offers a riveting account of her life as America’s first woman Secretary of State during Bill Clinton’s two presidential terms. As one of the most admired women in U.S. history, she reflects on her remarkable personal story and on America’s leading role in a changing world.

    3.THE GOOD EARTH follows the honest farmer Wang Lung and his selfless wife, O-Lan, as sweeping changes alter the lives of the Chinese people during the 20th century.

    4. The first Hispanic and third woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor traces her life from a Bronx housing project to the federal bench. MY BELOVED WORLD offers an inspiring testament to Sotomayor’s own extraordinary determination and the power of believing in oneself.

    5.15-year-old Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head after she refused to be silenced or give up her right to go to school. At 17, she became the youngest person to ever receive the Nobel Peace Prize. I AM MALALA is the remarkable story of the power of one person’s voice to inspire change in the world.

  5. Rahma Jimoh

    Reply

    1. Harper Lee, To Kill A Mocking Bird: is about racial injustice in a small Alabama town. A sweet, often humorous portrait of small-town life in the 1930s, and a sobering tale of race relations in the Deep South during the Jim Crow era. It was the story of Atticus & His Young Daughter, Scout. The book was published in 1960 and won the Pulitzer prize the next year.

    2. Maya Angelou, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings: is a 1969 autobiography describing the early years of American writer and poet Maya Angelou. The first in a seven-volume series is a coming-of-age story that illustrates how the strength of character and a love of literature can help overcome racism and trauma. The book begins when three-year-old Maya and her older brother are sent to Stamps, Arkansas, to live with their grandmother and ends when Maya becomes a mother at the age of 16. In the course of Caged Bird, Maya transforms from a victim of racism with an inferiority complex into a self-possessed, dignified young woman capable of responding to prejudice.

    3. In dependence by Sarah Ladipo Manyika: “In Dependence” was published in the UK in 2008, in Nigeria in 2009 and the US in 2011. The novel begins in the early 1960s when Tayo Ajayi meets Vanessa Richardson, the beautiful daughter of an ex-colonial officer. Their story, which spans three continents and four turbulent decades, is that of a brave but bittersweet love affair. It is the story of individuals struggling to find their place within uncertain political times – a story of passion and idealism, courage and betrayal.

    4. January Children By Safia Elhillo: it was published in 2017.
    The January Children depicts displacement and longing while also questioning accepted truths about geography, history, nationhood, and home. The poems mythologize family histories until they break open, using them to explore aspects of Sudan’s history of colonial occupation, dictatorship, and diaspora. Several of the poems speak to the late Egyptian singer Abdelhalim Hafez, who addressed many of his songs to the asmarani—an Arabic term of endearment for a brown-skinned or dark-skinned person. Elhillo explores Arabness and Africanness and the tensions generated by a hyphenated identity in those two worlds.

    5. Becoming by Michelle Obama: is the memoir of former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama, published in 2018. the book talks about her roots and how she found her voice, as well as her time in the White House, her public health campaign, and her role as a mother. The book is published by Crown and was released in 24 languages.

  6. Maipelo M Zambane

    Reply

    The Scattering by Lauri Kubuitsile
    Far and Beyon by Unity Dow
    Assata: An autobiography By Assata Skahur
    Beloved by Toni Morrison
    We need new Names by NoViolet Bulawayo

  7. God'swill Chibueze

    Reply

    1. The shadow King by Maaza Mengiste
    Tells of women who were soldiers and explored what it meant to be a woman at war
    2. Invisible woman by Caroline Criado Perez
    Focuses on the root cause of gender inequality using data
    3. Americanah by Chimamanda Adiche
    Concerning an indelible female protagonist, Ifemelu who left Nigeria to study and live in the United States of America
    4. Tiger Daughter by Rebecca Lim
    About Wen growing up as a Chinese immigrant in Australia. Lived in a house governed by fear and was expected to lay low and focus on her studies
    5. The man in brown suit by Agatha Christie

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