Nigerian literature

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Nigerian literature is the literature of the Nigeria, written in English, Igbo, and the other major languages of the country. The languages used by authors in Nigeria are based in part on geography, with authors in the northern part of the country writing in Hausa.[1] Nigerian authors have won numerous accolades, including the Nobel Prize in Literature and the Man Booker.

Notable writers[edit]

Nigeria has produced a number of important writers, who have won accolades for their work, including Daniel O. Fagunwa, Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, Femi Osofisan, Ken Saro-Wiwa, Cyprian Ekwensi, Buchi Emecheta, Elechi Amadi and Ben Okri. Soyinka, a Yoruba native speaker writing mainly in English, received the 1986 Nobel Prize in literature, becoming the first African Literature Nobel Prize winner.[2]

Other significant writers, of a younger generation, include Chris Abani, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Sefi Atta, Helon Habila, Helen Oyeyemi, Nnedi Okorafor, Sarah Ladipo Manyika, Chika Unigwe, Igoni Barrett, and Teju Cole. Some, including Cole and Adichie, are based in the West.[1]


Wole Soyinka was the first black African to win the Nobel Prize for literature.[3] Previously, Claude Simon and Albert Camus, born in French Madagascar and French-held Algeria, respectively, had won the prize. Soyinka was awarded the prize as he " a wide cultural perspective and with poetic overtones fashions the drama of existence".[3]

Chinua Achebe was awarded the Man Booker International prize in recognition of his entire career as a novelist and author in 2007. Other finalists for the prize included Ian McEwan and Salman Rushdie.[4] In awarding the prize, Nadine Gordimer referred to Achebe as "the father of modern African literature".[4]

A list of "100 Most Influential Nigerian Writers Under 40 (Year 2016)" was published on 28 December 2016 on the Nigerian Writers Awards website.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Shercliff, Emma (9 December 2015). "The changing face of Nigerian literature". British Council. Retrieved 17 October 2016. 
  2. ^ "Wole Soyinka: A Chronology". African Postcolonial Literature in English. Retrieved 12 December 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "The Nobel Prize in Literature 1986". Nobel Prize. Retrieved 17 October 2016. 
  4. ^ a b "Nigeria author wins Booker honour". BBC. 13 June 2007. Retrieved 17 October 2016. 
  5. ^ "100 Most Influential Nigerian Writers Under 40", Nigerian Writers Awards, 28 December 2016.

External links[edit]