The voices of 24 Nigerian writers on their country of origin – A review of ‘From this country’


Title: From This Country: Acclaimed Nigerian Writers on Home, Identity and the Culture They Know

Editor: HarperCollins Publishers for Ouida Books

Year of publication: 2021

Number of pages: 275

Category: Non-fiction (Memory)

With this book in hand, you’ll feel like you’ve walked into a room with some of your favorite authors and listened to them discuss life in Nigeria through the lens of their own personal and illuminating accounts of the country. “Of this our Country” is a collection of short stories by twenty-four different Nigerian authors, all on a Nigerian theme.

Following a fascinating insight into the history of the publication of the essays is a collection of first-person accounts that each serve to illustrate the authors’ deep connections to their legacy. Some of the authors include Sefi Atta, Helon Habila, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Bolu Babalola, Abi Daré and Ayobami Adébayo.

Discovering well-known and lesser-known Nigerian authors is easy with this book. It’s interesting how comfortable the authors were talking about the places they called home.

Some of the authors are able to convey their enthusiasm for Nigeria to their readers. Despite the fact that most of them have settled in other countries, it is only natural that they continue to return to their place of origin.

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The authors learned a lot and were motivated to write an insightful book from the time they spent in places like Lagos, Abeokuta, Enugu, Jos and many more. Reading these stories, any foreigner who might have thought that Nigeria had nothing interesting or noteworthy to offer would have changed their mind.

You have to wonder if the authors of these works are related, given the number of times the name “Enugu” appears and the obvious similarities between them.

However, not all of these writers are indigenous Nigerians; some of them were actually brought up elsewhere and have only recently adopted Nigeria as their permanent home.

You will be blown away by the superb descriptive writing in each piece, but the works of Chimamanda Adiche, Okey Ndibe and Abubakar Ibrahim will be particularly memorable.

Chimamanda Adichie’s account offers a hilarious and horrifying look at life in Lagos. You should be able to tell if you want to read additional books by some of these authors based on your reaction to their stories, as this is a solid representation of the author’s other works.

You will love descriptions that show the timeless characteristics of Nigeria, and some readers may even develop an affinity for the country as a result of reading this book; yet, many negative aspects of Nigeria are highlighted, which may deter people who have never been there from visiting.

If you are hungry for books on Nigeria, I highly recommend this.

About the Examiner

Titilade Oyemade is a business executive in a leading organization and holds a degree in Russian language. She is the organizer of the Hangoutwithtee Ladies Event and the publisher of Hangoutwithtee magazine. She spends her weekends attending women’s conferences, events and book readings. She likes to have fun and help other women have the same in their lives. Email: [email protected] Social media: @tiipreeofficial


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