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Buchi Emecheta's The Joys of Motherhood

Buchi Emecheta wrote over 20 books and plays during her time as a writer. Many of her works are critically acclaimed and Emecheta was dubbed “the first successful black woman novelist living in Britain after 1948,” by the University of Michigan Press. Emecheta wrote the Joys of Motherhood in 1979.

The Joys of Motherhood tells the story of Nnu Ego, a young woman from Ibuza (present day Delta State). She travels to Lagos after a failed marriage and must acclimatize to a life under British rule, with a husband who works as a servant. All of this while raising the children she had been desperate to have for years. She struggles with maintaining her identity in a new place, providing for her children and dealing with the shift in the traditional marriage power dynamic. The story paints a stunningly complex picture of the struggles of motherhood and the weight on the shoulders of women during the height of British colonialism.


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