Of This Our Country: Acclaimed Nigerian writers on the home, identity and culture they know
To define Nigeria is to tell a half-truth. Many have tried, but most have concluded that it is impossible to capture the true scope and significance of Africa’s most populous nation through words or images.
Yet here, through personal essays from twenty-four of its writers, a more accurate picture comes into view: one that details the realities and contradictions of patriotism, juxtaposes inherited tradition with the diasporic experience, and explores the power of storytelling and its intrinsic link to Nigeria’s history.
Powerful, lyrical and entirely unforgettable, OF THIS OUR COUNTRY weaves together a living portrait of Nigeria, one that is as beautiful as it is complex.
With essays from: Nels Abbey, Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀, Yomi Adegoke, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Oyinkan Akande, Ike Anya, Sefi Atta, Bolu Babalola, J K Chukwu, Abi Daré, Inua Ellams
Chịkọdịlị Emelụmadụ, Caleb Femi, Helon Habila, Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, Anietie Isong, Okey Ndibe, Chigozie Obioma, Irenosen Okojie, Cheluchi Onyemelukwe, Lola Shoneyin, Umar Turaki, Chika Unigwe and Hafsa Zayyan.
‘So many of these essays put into words things I feel in the fibre of my gut but haven’t quite worked out the language for’ Jendella Benson, author of Hope and Glory
‘The read I never thought I needed … moving, funny at times, insightful and so relatable’ Lizzie Damilola Blackburn, author of Yinka Where is Your Huzband?
”'The read I never thought I needed. As a fellow Nigerian, I learnt so much about our culture - both the good and the bad, but maybe more importantly, our potential … moving, funny at times, insightful and so relatable. It's a necessary read” - Lizzie Damilola Blackburn, author of Yinka Where is Your Huzband
”'This collection of 24 personal essays did what it needed to do! The voices included are as eclectic and diverse as the country itself, and you can go from laughing to wanting to weep in a matter of moments as you’re taken through the ups and downs of a nation - and national identity - that is still scarred by colonialism, civil war and corruption but strides towards the future with arrogance, endless optimism and sheer bloody-mindedness. To be Nigerian is a complex and contradictory thing, but so many of these essays put into words things I feel in the fibre of my gut but haven’t quite worked out the language for” - Jendella Benson, author of Hope and Glory