Nigerian Fiction Writers

Couple of times I’ve come across Nigerian Fiction lovers who wonder why Nigerians haven’t caught unto writing fiction the way we’ve planted our footsteps in the sands of film, home video, music, comedy, tv.

Being a Nigerian Fiction writer myself, I decided to do some research and was surprised at the depth of works done by relatively new authors in the last ten years or so. I was also quite proud to see that quite a lot of the books are award winners. Take a look and do let me know if there are any names I’ve left out…

CHIMAMANDA ADICHIE

Titles

  • The thing around your neck
  • Half of a yellow sun
  • Purple Hibiscus



Biography

Born in Nigeria in 1977 and grew up in the university town of Nsukka. She later moved to the United States to attend college, graduating with a major in Communication and a minor in Political Science. She holds a Masters degree in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins and a Masters degree in African Studies from Yale. Purple Hibiscus won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award while Half of a yellow sun won the Orange Prize.

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MYRE WHITMAN

Titles

  • A heart to Mend

Biography
Myne Whitman is a pen name. She has lived in Nigeria and the UK and now lives with her husband in Bellevue, Washington. She volunteers as an ESL tutor for a local charity and writes the rest of the time. She is the managing editor of Naija Stories, a critique website for Nigerian writers.


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SEFI ATTA

Titles

  • Every thing good will come
  • Swallow
  • News from Home (Short Stories)


Biography
Sefi Atta was born in Lagos, Nigeria. She was educated there, in England and the United States. She is a graduate of the creative writing program at Antioch University, Los Angeles. She is the winner of PEN International’s 2004/2005 David TK Wong Prize and in 2006 for her debut novel - Everything Good Will Come and was awarded the inaugural Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa.
Her short story collection, Lawless, received the 2009 Noma Award For Publishing in Africa.  She lives in Mississippi with her husband Gboyega Ransome-Kuti, a medical doctor, and their daughter, Temi.

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CHRIS ABANI

Titles
Song for night
Becoming Abigail
Hands Washing Water

Biography
He is a Professor at the University of California, Riverside and the recipient of the PEN USA Freedom-to-Write Award, the Prince Claus Award, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, a California Book Award, a Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, a PEN Beyond the Margins Award, the PEN Hemingway Book Prize & a Guggenheim Award.


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HELON HABILA

Titles

  • Waiting for an Angel
  • Measuring time
  • Oil on water



Biography

Helon Habila (born 1967) is a Nigerian novelist and poet. He won the Caine Prize for African fiction (short story) in 2001, and the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Best First Book, Africa Region) in 2003. He studied at the University of Jos and at the University of East Anglia and now teaches creative writing at George Mason University, Washington D.C.
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JUDE DIBIA

Titles

  • Walking with shadows
  • Unbriddled

Biography
Nigerian-born novelist. Unbridled won the 2007 Ken Saro-Wiwa Prize for Prose (sponsored by NDDC/ANA) and was a finalist in the 2007 Nigeria Prize for Literature (sponsored by NLNG).


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EKENE ONU

Titles

  • The Mrs Club
  • Can I be real


Biography

Ekene Onu is a thirty something writer who was raised in Nigeria and currently resides in Atlanta Georgia. She is the founder and editor of Noveau Africana and the Mrs. Club is her first book.


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LARA DANIELS

Titles
Love in Paradise
Love at Dawn

Biography
Lara Daniels (Olubunmi Akindebe) is a seasoned veteran reader of Romance novels. She grew up feeding off on novels published by Harlequin, Silhouette and Mills & Boons Romance. Her writing career started in High school where she wrote short fictional stories.  She continued her love for writing in College, from where she relocated to the United States. http://laradanielswrites.com/

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ADAOBI NWAUBANI

Titles

  • I do not come to you by chance

Biography
Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani, won the 2010 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for the Best First Book for the Africa Region for her much praised debut novel about Nigerian email scammer –  I Do Not Come To You By Chance.


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ABIDEMI SANUSI

Titles

  • God has daughters too
  • Kemi’s Journal
  • Zack’s Story
  • Eyo

Biography

Abidemi Sanusi was born in Nigeria but she lives in the UK. She is the author of several books.  She is also a devotional writer, writing for well-known titles such as Inspiring Women Everyday(CWR) and Day by Day with God (BRF).  Abidemi’s book, Eyo, was shortlisted for the 2010 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize.

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FOLAKE TAYLOR MD

Titles

  • The only way is up

Biography

Folake Taylor, MD was born in the United Kingdom to Nigerian-born parents in the early 70s and was raised in both countries before settling in the United States to live the American dream. She is a 2006 graduate of the Internal Medicine Residency Program of the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, GA. Folake loves to have fun, especially with her favorite people, her husband and little girl. She loves to travel, loves water sports (though a non-swimmer) and loves to read and watch great movies. “The Only Way is Up: The Journey of an Immigrant.” is a book about empowerment and hope, especially but not exclusively for women.
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CHIMA UCHENDU

Titles

  • Wayo Guy and other Nigerian short stories


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NNEDI OKOROAFOR

Titles

  • Zahrah the windseeker
  • The shadow Speaker
  • Who Fears Death


Biography
Nnedi Okorafor is a novelist of Nigerian descent known for weaving African culture into creative evocative settings and memorable characters. Her novels include Zahrah the Windseeker (winner of the Wole Soyinka Prize for African Literature), The Shadow Speaker (winner of the CBS Parallax Award) and Long Juju Man (winner of the Macmillan Writer’s Prize for Africa). Nnedi holds a PhD in English and currently is a professor of creative writing at Chicago State University.

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AYO AKINFE

Titles

  • Fuelling the Delta Fires

Biography
Ayo Akinfe, born in Salford, Manchester, is a London-based journalist who has worked as a magazine and newspaper editor for the last 20 years. After working in journalism for 19 years, Ayo decided to switch to book writing after realising that there is simply too little out there on African history.  Fuelling the Delta Fires is one of a series of novels aimed at highlighting Africa’s sorry plight and the misleading image peddled about her.

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OGO AKUBUE OGBATA

Titles

     

  • Egg-Larva-Pupa-Woman

Biography
Ọgọ is a writer, inspiring speaker and creative consultant. As well as writing fiction and nonfiction, she delivers training, coaching and consulting programmes that help professionals, organisations and communities maximise their creativity and overall potential.

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Eghosa Imasuen

Titles

     

  • To Saint Patrick

Biography
Eghosa Imasuen was born on 19 May 1976. He is a medical doctor and lives in Benin City, Nigeria, with his wife and twin sons. His first novel, To Saint Patrick, an Alternate History murder mystery about Nigeria’s civil war, was published by Farafina in 2008.


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UWEM AKPAN

Titles
Say You’re one of them

Biography
Uwem Akpan, born May 19, 1971, is a Nigerian Jesuit priest and writer. Say You’re One of Them (2008) is a collection of five stories (each set in a different African country)and was picked by the Oprah Winfrey Book Club on September 17, 2009.

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SADE ADENIRAN

Titles

     

  • Imagine this

Biography
Sade Adeniran was born in England, grew up in Nigeria and now lives in London. She started her writing career with BBC Radio 4. Imagine This is her first novel.

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Diana Evans

Titles

     

  • 26a: A Novel
  • The Wonder

Biography
Diana Evans was born in London and spent part of her childhood in Lagos, Nigeria. She studied Media Studies at the University of Sussex and was a dancer in the Brighton-based troupe Mashango before becoming a journalist and author.

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DUPE OLORUNJO

Titles

  • Tailed
  • The Aireginan Dream

Biography


Loves to Read, Loves to write compelling stories. The Aireginan Dream is an account of a fictional story with challenges very similar to what we have in Nigeria; and the steps that country took to overcome their problems http://www.dupeolorunjo.com/

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LOLA SHONEYIN

Titles

The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives

Biography

She teaches English and drama at a secondary school in Abuja, Nigeria.

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BOLA NELSON

Titles

  • Pride must die
  • Diary of a desperate Naija Woman

Biography

Loves to Muse think and Blog

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Unoma Azuah

Titles

  • Sky High Flames

Biography

Unoma Nguemo Azuah holds an MFA in Poetry and Fiction from the Virginia Commonwealth University and has edited literary publications in Nigeria and abroad. She currently teaches in America.


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HELEN OYEYEMI

Titles

  • The Iscarus Girl
  • The opposite House

Biography

Helen Olajumoke Oyeyemi (born December 10, 1984) is a British novelist, born in Nigeria and moved to London when she was four. She wrote her first novel, The Icarus Girl, while still at school studying for her A levels at Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School.

Oyeyemi studied Social and Political Sciences graduating in 2006. In 2007 Bloomsbury published her second novel, The Opposite House. Her third novel, White is for Witching, was a 2009 Shirley Jackson Award finalist.

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TEJU COLE

Titles

  • Everyday is for the thief
  • Open City

Biography

I was born to Nigerian parents and grew up in Lagos. My mother taught French. My father was a business executive who exported chocolate. The first book I read (I was six) was an abridgment of Tom Sawyer. At fifteen I published cartoons regularly in Prime People, Nigeria’s version of Vanity Fair. Two years later I moved to the United States.

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AYODELE OLOFINTUADE

TITLES

  • Eno’s Story

Biography

Ayodele is a Children’s story writer


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SARAH LADIPO MANYIKA

TITLES

  • In Dependence


BIOGRAPHY

Sarah Ladipo Manyika was raised in Nigeria and has lived in Kenya, France, and England.  She holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and currently teaches literature at San Francisco State University.  Her writing includes published essays, academic papers, book reviews and short stories.  Sarah’s first novel, In Dependence, is published by Legend Press (2008).

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IFELANWA OSUNDOLIRE

TITLES

     

  • On a lot of things


BIOGRAPHY

Osundolire Ifelanwa was raised in Ondo town and spent a huge chunk of his childhood there. He was Secondary ‘schooled’ at F.G.C Idoani and trained as an architect in Yabatech and Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.  An adventure seeker by default, he joined the bandwagon of explorers to accompany the famed Dr. Newton Jibunoh to the Sahara desert, travelling from Lagos to London via road. He is currently a recipient of the British Council Innovation 360 awards and looks forward to a successful year at Birmingham City University both as a real estate professional and a writer.

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NGOZI ACHEBE

Titles

     

  • Onaedo – The blacksmith daughter

Biography


Ngozi Achebe was born in London and raised in Nigeria in a middleclass family. Both parents instilled in Ms Achebe and her siblings an early love for books. She is Chinua Achebe’s niece.

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KAINE AGARY

Titles

  • Yellow Yellow

Biography

Kaine Agary. Ms holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology and Economics from Mount Holyoke College, USA and a Masters in Public Administration with a specialization in Public Policy from New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service in the United States of America. Ms. She Won the NLNG prize for literature in 2008.

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UCHECHUKWU PETER UMEZ

Titles

  • Sam and the Wallet

Biography


Uche Peter Umez (born January 1, 1975) is a graduate of Government & Public Administration from Abia State University. Sam and the Wallet, was the winner of the ANA/Funtime Prize for Children’s Literature and the runner-up for the 2007 Nigeria LNG Prize for Literature.

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TONI KAN

Titles

  • Night of the creaking Bed

Biography

Toni Kan is an award winning poet, essayist and short story writer.

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ONYEKA NWELUE

Titles

  • The Abyssinian Boy

Biography

His debut novel  won the 2009 T M ALUKO Prize for First Book and second prize at the 2009 IBRAHIM TAHIR Prize for Fiction, endowed by the Abuja Writers’ Forum.

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CHIKA UNIGWE

Titles

  • On Black Sister’s street

Biography

Chika Unigwe was born in Enugu, Nigeria, and now lives in Turnhout, Belgium, with her husband and four children. She won the 2003 BBC Short Story Competition for her story “Borrowed Smile”, a Commonwealth Short Story Award for “Weathered Smiles” and a Flemish literary prize for “De Smaak van Sneeuw”, her first short story written in Dutch. “The Secret”, another of her short pieces, was nominated for the 2004 Caine Prize.

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AYO ARIGBABU

Titles

  • A fistful of tales

Biography

Ayodele Arigbabu studied Architecture at the University of Lagos, where he was the Librarian and then President of the Pen Circle, an association of young writers. His short story titled “You live to die once” was the winning entry at the 2001 Liberty Bank Short Stories Competition. His poem titled “Livelihood” received honourable mention, at the 2003 Muson Poetry competition while his first short story collection titled Blues Tones (published in The Three Kobo Book) was nominated for the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) / Lantern Books 2005 Prize for Short Stories.

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EC OSONDU

Titles

  • Waiting

Biography

E. C. Osondu is a Nigerian writer known for his short stories. His story “Waiting” won the 2009 Caine Prize, for which he had been a finalist in 2007. In 2010, he is an assistant professor of English at Providence College,


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28 Responses to Nigerian Fiction Writers

  1. Thanks for posting, there are some authors I have not heard of.

  2. This is a great list but I think it is in no way exhaustive. I know others would add unto it. Nigerians are doing well in many areas and I wonder who asked why fiction hasn’t taken on in Nigeria. In Africa Fiction writing is on the rise in countries like Nigeria, Zimbabwe and perhaps Kenya (don’t know much about that). The discontinuation of the publication of the African Writers Series has had a marked effect.

    I know of Ifelanwa Osundolire. His book is titled On a Lot of Things. Then I wonder if E.C. Osundo does not qualify to be here. What about Lola Shoneyin (The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s wives); then there is Ngozi Achebe with The Blacksmith’s Daughter.

  3. carmenmccain says:

    Great list! There are plenty of other authors published locally too, but if the criteria for the list is publication by an internationally recognized publishing company, what of Helen Oyeyemi? Also, quite a few authors from Cassava Republic:
    Teju Cole
    Lola Shoneyin
    Toni Kan
    Ayodele Olofintuade
    Sarah Ladipo Manyika

  4. Chinelo says:

    Off the top of my head I can think to add:
    Teju Cole – Everyday is for the Thief,
    Helen Oyeyemi – Icarus Girl, The Opposite House,
    Toni Kan – Nights of the Creaking Bed (short stories)
    Lola Shoneyin – Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives
    Sarah Ladipo Manyika – In Dependence

  5. Ero says:

    Really, thank you so much for posting!! I had no idea there were so many brilliant Nigerian writers out there…just wonderful! This list (over 30 titles) has furnished me enough reading material for the next…2-3 years… LOL

  6. Pingback: Naming Nigerian Writers | 3rd World Consciousness, 1st World Efficiency

  7. Sylva says:

    I will add here a few names you left out that i know of;

    1. EC Osondu
    2. Uche Peter Umez (Sam and his wallet)
    3. Ayo Arigbabu (Fistful of Tales)
    4. Onyeka Nwelue (The Abysinnian Boy)
    5. Chika Unigwe (On black sisters street)

  8. You ommitted a good number of authors. For starters, I did not see Chika Unigwe’s name.

  9. dupeolorunjo says:

    Thanks all for your comments. For me this has been a real eye opener. You get snippets of information here and there about the bookshelf and achievements of Nigerian Authors but then when you put it all together it is mind-boggling. I hope this will inspire us to do much more. It also tells me it’s time for a true Nigerian Publishing Industry to evolve.

  10. Tricy says:

    This is a great list, but I think you have missed out a young Nigeria who stormed the literary scene with his fantasy novel called Doom’s Wing: Legend of Tellam. His name is Temitayo Ilori.

  11. Netty Ejike says:

    I must commend you! You’ve done a great job here. Please, keep it up. I am a new romance writer. I had my first book launch in Dec 2010. Hoping to see many more writers on this site. Well done!

  12. Nice! There’s so many of the authors I haven’t read yet, and there I was, feeling bored. Can’t wait to settle in with one of them, the new problem will be which one do I start with!
    http://www.faiygodsister.wordpress.com

  13. ayodele says:

    This is really nice. But I think you omitted some names here. we have El-Nukoya, whose ‘Nine lives’ won ANA/Jacaranda awards and Tope Apoola, the young writer who came up with ‘Times of the supermen’, a brilliant science fiction that was released last week

  14. chizzy theo says:

    am happy to log in to this site because it has given me the privilege to see new books written by african writers. Cant wait to visit the bookshop! ! ! !

  15. Okechukwu otukwu says:

    Great list. But, i dont know if it is me, i noticed that a lot of these writers are in diaspora or have foreign roots. I dont know if it’s a criterion of qualification to be on the list. There are a lot of writers published locally whose works are not on that list.

  16. dupeolorunjo says:

    No. The list doesn’t have anything to do with location. Just Nigerian Fiction Writers

  17. Just to say kudos. Keep it up. But why mostly Nigerian writers in diaspora? I’m also a writer. I’m the author of ‘Emotional Decision’ a play. My novel is on course. Great to meet you.

  18. Ayo Akinfe says:

    We are planning a monthly African reading programme in London guys. I will be posting details here as they become clearer. I love the enthusiasm I am seeing here and hope to meet loads of you soon.

    Keep it up guys!

  19. Omohan Ebhodaghe is a London, UK-based Nigerian poet & novelist, courtesy of a British Council, Lagos office assistance. He was the 1993-4 publicity secretary of the Association of Nigerian Authors, Lagos state chapter. In 1993, he co-edited an anthology of poems and stories TWENTY NIGERIAN WRITERS: PORTRAITS with Dr Victor Ayedun-Aluma of the Mass Communications department of the university of Lagos, Nigeria. His epic novel is IN THE MIDST OF LOAFERS, 959 pages. His poetry book is HIGHTOWER. Details of Omohan Ebhodaghe’s books can be found on the internet. He is also on FACEBOOK and MySPACE.

  20. Sandra says:

    Fun fact: Lola Shoneyin is Wole Soyinka’s daughter-in-law!

  21. ayodele says:

    Great blog here. I will like to inform you of a Literary Cafe event coming up on the 21st of June in Akure, Ondo state at Golden crown restaurant. The aim of the event is to provide an atmosphere in which books, writers, ideas and those who love them can interact with fun and yield positive results.
    Guest writer is Geraldine Iheme; Author of ‘Disfigured Emotions’ and former housemate, Big Brother Africa

  22. OKOYE SONIA says:

    I am Okoye Sonia,a creative writer and the writer of THE GREAT HEALER ,A drama text ,i love this colunm.

  23. chandy says:

    thanks help with my homework

  24. mosinmi says:

    am glad some one did this, but have u guys considered nigerian writer’s who write in native languages i know of a few good ones. writing and reading the nigerian languages is fun and educative, and its sometimes more expressive for the writer…..try IYAN OGUN ODUN by FUNMI AKINODE. i think native language writers are even braver cos naija is still loosing culture at an increasing rate.

  25. This is just a thought but audio books are taking off in a big way…what with people having very little time to sit down and read. In their cars on the way to work, at the airport, on planes and working out in gyms, people are now listening to books. It would serve writers well to remember that there is now more ways to get ones book out there and read. Just a thought!

  26. Adeniyi K. says:

    Thank you very much for this list. God bless you.

  27. ify says:

    Nice compilation

  28. Kunle Esan says:

    My name is Kunle Esan. My novel (The Razor) was published in 2011. More information can by found on http://www.the-razor-novel.co.uk

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