Buchi Emecheta was a Nigerian-born author who was famous for her novels, children’s books and activism. She also wrote various plays and an autobiography.
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She was the author of more than 20 books, including Second Class Citizen (1974), The Bride Price (1976), The Slave Girl (1977) and The Joys of Motherhood (1979).
Yesterday marked Buchi Emecheta’s post-humous 75th birthday, and Google honoured her with a Google Doodle.
Besides being a household name, there are valid reasons why you should read Emecheta’s books.
1. Her work was autobiographical.
Buchi Emecheta wrote most of her work from her real life. She got through her real-life struggles by using writing as a coping mechanism. These works ended up transcending her own story because many women saw themselves and their realities in her novels.
2. Her books were revolutionary.
Emecheta was a black woman living in Britain with five kids. She wrote about the systemic oppression that women endured. Her work was unlike most others, exploring the tension between tradition and modernity. Her themes of womanhood, slavery and motherhood portrayed the topics in a light they had never been portrayed before.
3. Her books are really funny.
Despite the hard-hitting themes of Buchi Emecheta’s novels, she never fails to add some light humour in the mix. Her wit and comedic scenes in the midst of all the turmoil are comforting. They make you feel like there is indeed hope in spite of all the difficulties. Her ability to joke even in the most trying situations was a testament to her strength of will, intelligence and optimism.
4. Her books are educational.
If you want a wider perspective on issues far beyond your reach, read Buchi Emecheta’s books. She wrote in great length about the Black experience in Britain, being an immigrant, a single mother and a woman. If you need some education on social and political issues, Emecheta’s books would be an entertaining way to start getting informed of the past and the present.
5. Her story is inspiring.
Buchi Emecheta went from being in a hopeless situation to become one of the most celebrated novelists in Nigeria. She juggled jobs and writing and mothering five children, still coming out on top at the end of the day. Within her books could be some nuggets you might need to get through the difficult situations in your life. You never know what you will find when you look inside a book.
Happy birthday, Buchi Emecheta. Thank you for blessing us with your stories. Rest in Power!
If you liked this article, check out this amazing historical Apollo 11 Google Doodle.