The Concubine (novel)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Concubine
Author Elechi Amadi
Country Nigeria
Language English
Genre Novel
Publisher Heinemann African Writers Series
Publication date
Media type Print (Paperback)
Pages 216 pp
Preceded by -
Followed by 'The Great Ponds'

The Concubine is the debut novel by Nigerian writer Elechi Amadi originally published in 1966 as part of the Heinemann African Writers Series.

Set in a remote village in Eastern Nigeria, an area yet to be affected by European values and where society is orderly and predictable, the story concerns a woman "of great beauty and dignity" who inadvertently brings suffering and death to all her lovers.

The novel portrays a society still ruled by traditional gods, offering a glimpse into the human relationships that such a society creates.

On its publication in London by Heinemann Educational Books, The Concubine was hailed as a "most accomplished first performance" and "an outstanding work of pure fiction".[1][2] A critical study of the novel was written by Alatair Niven, who called it: "an example of how an absence of conscious sophistication or experimentation can result in a novel of classic simplicity.... Rooted firmly among the hunting and fishing villages of the Niger delta, The Concubine nevertheless possesses the timelessness and universality of a major novel."[3]

The Concubine has been made into a film, written by Elechi Amadi and directed by Nollywood director Andy Amenechi; the film was premiered in Abuja in March 2007.[4]


  1. ^ Eustace Palmer, "Elechi Amadi and Flora Nwapa", African Literarture Today, no. 1, 1969, p. 56.
  2. ^ Eldred Jones, "African Literature 1966-1967", African Forum, vol. 3, no. 1, p.5.
  3. ^ Alastair Niven, A Critical View on Elechi Amadi's "The Concubine" (London, 1981), p. 7.
  4. ^ Elechi Amadi website, videos.
  • East African Educational Publishers Ltd of Nairobi
  • Heinemann Educational Books Ltd of London