Culture

Top Nigerian Novels to Add to Your Reading List in 2023

  • written by Eavesdroppr's
  • 4 min read
  • 13 Oct, 2023
Cottonbro Studio

Nigerian literature continues to blow our minds each and every day, with captivating narratives that shine an amazing and versatile light on Nigerian culture, history, and societal dynamics.

Whether you're a literature enthusiast, a book nerd, or a casual reader looking to diversify your reading list, you’ve come to the right place! This article highlights some of the best Nigerian novels you should consider adding to your reading collection before the year runs out.

Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Half Of A Yellow Sun should be a rite of passage for anyone looking to get a taste of Nigerian literature. It has everything from suspense to a cliffhanger ending that will have you in your feelings.

Published in 2006, this powerful novel vividly portrays the Nigerian-Biafran War, providing a unique perspective on the socio-political landscape during the 1960s. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie masterfully weaves together the lives of compelling characters, making it a must-read for anyone interested in Nigerian history and the resilience of the human spirit.

A Spell Of Good Things By Ayobami Adebayo

A Spell Of Good Things is the talk of the town, the storyline will captivate you in ways you don’t see coming, it is an intriguing story that revolves around Eniola and Wuraola. It is a literary gem that takes readers on an enchanting journey through the intertwining lives of its characters. Adebayo's storytelling talent shines through as she weaves a narrative that is both heartfelt and incredibly sad.

The Middle Daughter By Chika Unigwe

The Middle Daughter is a perfect choice if you’re looking to go on an adventurous, yet emotional rollercoaster. It follows the story of a seventeen year old, Nani, who shows a lot of resilience when faced with grief, loss, and hardships. 

It is a gut wrenching story that will have you rooting for a deeply flawed but resilient character, it also delves deep into family dynamics in Nigeria. It will have you going through a wave of emotions, but in the end, it's the kind of novel that stays with you even when all the pages are closed.

Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband by Lizzie Damilola Blackburn

Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband is just as unconventional and relatable as you think it would be, it centers around a 31 year old  British-Nigerian woman pining for love, and her ex. The fact that the characters, especially Yinka, are so relatable, and their adventures feel like conversations with friends is why it’s a must-read.

The novel beautifully addresses societal norms and expectations while celebrating individuality. You'll laugh, empathize, and reflect. It is basically for anyone navigating the modern dating scene.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Americanah is definitely a contemporary classic, published in 2013, "Americanah" explores themes of identity, race, and love through the story of Ifemelu and Obinze, two Nigerians who navigate life in America and the UK. Adichie's insightful narrative delves into the immigrant experience and challenges prevalent stereotypes.

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

This darkly comic and suspenseful novel by Oyinkan Braithwaite delves into the complexities of family dynamics and societal expectations. Set in Lagos, it's a thrilling exploration of loyalty, love, and the lengths one would go to protect family, even when faced with uncomfortable truths.

Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi

Published in 2018, "Freshwater" is a stunning debut novel that delves into Igbo cosmology and explores the complexities of identity and mental health. Akwaeke Emezi's narrative is a unique and thought-provoking exploration of existence and spirituality.

Stay with Me by Ayobami Adebayo

This heart-wrenching debut novel is a compelling exploration of love, fertility, and familial relationships. Set against the backdrop of political turbulence in Nigeria, Ayobami Adebayo skillfully delves into the complexities of traditional expectations and modern struggles.

Nigerian literature never disappoints when it comes to offering a vast array of captivating novels that provide readers with unique insights into Nigerian culture, history, and the human experience. There’s just a lot of options of Nigerian novels and authors to add to your reading list, this is only the tip of  the literary iceberg.

Immerse yourself in the captivating narratives crafted by talented Nigerian authors, and explore the beauty and depth of Nigerian storytelling. Happy reading!




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