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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Efuru by Flora Nwapa. Efuru by Flora Nwapa Editor. Efuru, beautiful and respected, is loved and deserted by two ordinary undistinguished husbands.
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Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Efuru. May 23, Paul rated it it was amazing Shelves: african-novels. Published in , this apparently was the first book written by a Nigerian woman to be published this is from Wiki so take with a pinch of salt. The writing style is very similar to Thi Published in , this apparently was the first book written by a Nigerian woman to be published this is from Wiki so take with a pinch of salt.
The writing style is very similar to Things Fall Apart and if you enjoyed that you would certainly enjoy this. Like Achebe, Nwapa commentates rather than judges, but the messages are clear and this book is about the society of women in the same way Things Fall Apart is about the society of men. In my judgement this novel is every bit as good as Things Fall Apart and yet it is hardly known.
Just look at the difference in ratings; Things Fall Apart has ratings and reviews and Efuru has ratings and 17 reviews. This is not because of a difference in quality; they are both great books and in my opinion Efuru is marginally better. Perhaps because it is written by a woman?
Surely not? The story opens a window onto customs and traditions going back centuries which are beginning to die out with younger generations and the encroachment of white culture and medicine. There is a not too graphic but very powerful description of genital mutilation. Efuru is a wonderfully strong and vibrant character; apart from her father the men in her life are pretty useless and she concludes she is better off without them.
She appears to be unable to produce lots of children and this is a source of sadness for her but she finds a role model in the form of the goddess of the lake who is beautiful, powerful, and independent and without children. This is a great novel; much too neglected and well worth looking out for. View all 7 comments. Aug 03, Cheryl rated it really liked it Recommends it for: those interested in stories told through dialogue. Shelves: africa , women-and-books.
Achebe minced no words in his memoir There Was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra , when he mentioned his friendship with and respect for Flora Nwapa, Nigeria's first woman writer and former English professor in fact her work clearly influenced Buchi Emecheta's, this I sensed from the prose arrangement.
But I'll try not to digress. Beautiful Efuru. She is one character I'll never forget. I love when a book leaves a character's portrait so wonderfully drawn across the windows of my mind that she assumes a role in my scholastic discussions on gender and she becomes a model of global comparison. Efuru is every love-stricken daughter who marries without her parents' consent and alas, bears the brunt of such decision. Efuru is every woman who has loved a man as a partner and friend, but had him torn away by greed, gossip, and jealousy.
Efuru is that woman who knows the pain of losing a child. She is the entrepreneur, breadwinner, survivor, and the strong female lead she never imagined herself to be, due to the inflictions of her patriarchal community. Efuru is a woman who moves to the beat of her town's river goddess, to the beat of her own drum. You know that century-old idea that a girl's education is futile, since she is expected to marry and raise kids?
It still exists. That century-old idea that a woman without children is barren or useless or even strange - it still exists. That century-old idea that a woman who does not understand her man somehow has an inherent need to be with other women is a "bad woman," and the woman who feels the same need to be with another is an adulteress, well that idea also still exists.
I'll leave you with those thoughts, as they're all highlighted in this novel. If you can, read this with a cup of palm wine and the weighty, bitter taste of kola nut resting on your tongue. What you can't do is read this for prose embellishments because you'd be disappointed.
Nwapa, like most African writers, does not focus on prose design; rather, her prowess is in creating drama through storytelling, something most African writers do powerfully.
Look up a play based in Africa and most likely, you'd be in good hands. This story moves through dialogue, something difficult to do, and yet Nwapa makes it look simple. View all 18 comments. Sep 17, Madolyn Chukwu rated it it was amazing. The first time I read a Flora Nwapa novel - this one - I was incredibly excited.
I was already aware of Achebe, but my gut feeling told me that this woman was a better writer! Maybe it was a case of woman to woman For me it was like a case of "" - West Africans would realise what I mean.
Or maybe there should be a law banning men from pronouncing on, criticising works by women The first time I read a Flora Nwapa novel - this one - I was incredibly excited. Or maybe there should be a law banning men from pronouncing on, criticising works by women? Even now I do not think it is sour grapes. Nwapa did show the world in her novels of many decades ago that she is a magnificent writer.
Just try to read her works and juxtapose them with how Achebe projects women in his novels Buchi Emecheta too and her very powerful novels Don't get me wrong I have the utmost respect for Achebe. But he was a literary genius, just like Nwapa and Emecheta.
He might even have helped Nwapa in getting published Shelves: reality-check , pure-power-of-gr , person-of-reality , person-of-everything , 1-read-on-hand , wm , 4-star , antidote-think-twice-all , antidote-think-twice-read , r It does not appeal to me. I know I am capable of suffering for greater things. But to suffer for a truant husband, an irresponsible husband like Adizua is to debase suffering. My own suffering will be noble.
Postcolonial literature has been a thing for some time now, the artificial debts imposed by former imperial powers France without its colonial after payments would be a third world country in a heartbeat , and, time, moving as it does, can seem set in its ways if one isn't paying critical attention.
Nwapa's 'Efuru', then, is a breath of fresh air, especially in a world where Things Fall Apart is practically the only book of Africa, specifically Nigeria, specifically Igbo, that the average person who claims to be a reader has in their back history. If there is pathos in 'Efuru', it is for human beings, not spectacle. If there is history, it is the everyday acknowledgement of real characters, not the drama of white people in nonwhite wonderland. If there is culture, it is done, not described as it is by writers who pander to "diversity" and believe that, despite not living the diversity, they can somehow fake it.
This is a story of a woman who lives through her own insensible tragedies and absurd dooms, but the times they are a' changing, and what was grounds for enslavement is now enabled by the Church, what once killed is now cured, and what was once respected absolutely is now destroyed by the past complicity that first built up its reputation. White people are more aggravating yet doddering parental figure than ultimate villain, and when they do show up it is as comic relief or touches of dramatic plot point.
The main story is a matter of individual versus community, gender roles, social machinations, legal or lack thereof statutes relating to domestic matters, religious influence, old versus new, accredited versus familiar, all of which is not nearly so dryly thematic when as read as it sounds when listed out.
Everything about Flora Nwapa screamed ‘feminist’, everything but her own words
A pioneer among contemporary African authors, Flora Nwapa is the first Nigerian woman to publish a novel, Efuru This landmark book explores a subject that is quite important in Nwapa's writing, although very unusual in African literature as a whole - the unconventional African woman. Nwapa's heroines are generally independent-minded women who often flout traditional customs. In Efuru, the protagonist agrees to marry without waiting for the customary premarital investigations of the groom's family background and the payment of the bride price - two extremely important traditions in Igbo culture. Marital compatibility, a secondary theme in Efuru, is the main theme of Nwapa's second novel, Idu
Efuru is a novel by Flora Nwapa which was published in as number 26 in Heinemann's African Writers Series , making it the first book written by a Nigerian woman to be published. The book is about Efuru, an Igbo woman who lives in a small village in colonial West Africa. Throughout the story, Efuru wishes to be a mother, though she is an independent-minded woman and respected for her trading ability. The book is rich in portrayals of the Igbo culture and of different scenarios which have led to its current status as a feminist and cultural work. The story is set in West African Igbo rural community.