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3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  224 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Efuru, beautiful and respected, is loved and deserted by two ordinary undistinguished husbands.
Paperback, 288 pages
Published June 1st 1966 by Heinemann Educational Books (first published January 1st 1966)
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Published in 1966, 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). It is set in the same area and tradition as Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. The blurb with the book sums it up;
“Efuru, beautiful and respected, is loved and deserted by two ordinary undistinguished husbands.”
The setting is rural and Efuru is a woman who is independent and competent and trades for herself. The writing style is very similar to Thi...more
This beautiful novel describes the youth, marriage, motherhood and eventual personal ephiphany of a young woman of contemporary Nigeria. Efuru's eventual tragedy is that she is not able to marry or raise children successfully. (Efurus' only daughter dies while she is still a small child, and a son never arrives). The book also describes quite matter-of-factly the horrific ritual of female circumcision--a painful clitorectomy--that all young women in this society are expected to undergo before m...more
Ricki Nordmeyer
I read this as part of a week-long book discussion on Female African writers. this was the first book written by an African woman writer and ultimately inspred Buchi Emecheta's "The Joy of Motherhood", with it's last line. The protagonist is a Nigerian girl who must submit to the traditinal female genital mutilation which was the standard in the early 20th century as well as currently in some African countries. Her inability to get pregnant dooms her first marriage and reveals the importance of...more
Saberina Agyei
Flora Nwapa's text is a pioneering example of female African literature. Not only does Efuru capture female life so vividly, it also contrasts with the male dominated African literature of the period in which Nwapa writes.
The reader is taken through the everyday life experiences of women in an African setting. Pregnancy, marriage, female circumcision are all discussed, alongside subtle nods to the presence of colonialism.
The narrative is written in a style which is almost cinema-like, as it is...more
a true african writer. I liked.
africawrites  - The RAS' annual festival of African Literature
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Colin Williams
Loved Things Fall Apart? Want to go back to Iboland? Want more beautifully simple writing? Want it from a woman's perspective? Well, Efuru is all of those things. However, while it is gorgeous, and convincing and has some interesting notes on polygamy, there seems to be no plot or central idea of the novel. I wish I knew more about genre theory, but perhaps this is realism? The events have no overarching order, but they just unfold, like they do in real life? No idea what to make of the story.
Bradley Cannon
The simplicity of sentence structure is helpful in understanding Nwapa's world in this book. Efuru is a wonderful, strong character--the perfect woman to show a female perspective. This is a very revolutionary book, and it deserves much more credit than it gets. If anything, the extremes Efuru goes through to please her culture should entertain and educate readers all on its own.
It's interesting to read a female Nigerian writer but it's troubling that she's not critiquing anything...I don't know if troubling is the right word but it's jarring to read an account of female genital mutilation and just have the speaker go along with it and say how wonderful it is. I appreciate it, though, because it definitely feels like an authentic voice.
Jessica Brathwaite
Feb 03, 2008 Jessica Brathwaite rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
Recommended to Jessica by: my teacher
This book is about building endurance and tolerance via love and patience. The title character endures many hardships throughout the book, but she survives and thrives. Through her spiritual connection with Uhamiri (The Goddess of the Lake) and her deep understanding of her divinity she overcomes everything. READ this BOOK
Simple, so so so simple sentences almost killed me at the first, but then I used to them and learned to like them. Not anything "oh, so awesome!"-feelings, but still a really enjoyable, fast readed novel.
Taught in my novel class this past semester. I like it because it's so immediate. I think this was the first African novel by a woman.
The response to the novel by Chinua Achibe. You'd better love Yoruba stuff, otherwise this is pretty dull/hard to follow.
Tragic...but loved it.
Lovely book. Groundbreaking, but also just a good read with many humorous moments.
should be read in conjunction with Things Fall Apart.
Zach VandeZande
African feminism is pretty great.
A journey outside of the Western canon
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500 Great Books B...: Efuru - Flora Nwapa 1 4 Jul 18, 2014 03:50PM  
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Florence Nwanzuruahu Nkiru Nwapa (13 January 1931 – 16 October 1993) was a Nigerian author best known as Flora Nwapa. Her novel Efuru (1966) is among the first English-language novels by a woman from Africa.

Nwapa, born in Oguta, was the forerunner to a generation of African women writers. While never considering herself a feminist, she is best known for recreating life and traditions from a woman'...more
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