Second Class Citizen by Buchi Emecheta (1974)


*Author, second class citizens*

Florence Onyebuchi “Buchi” Emecheta OBE was a Nigerian-born novelist, based in the UK from 1962, who also wrote plays and an autobiography, as well as works for children. She was the author of more than 20 books, including Second Class Citizen (1974), The Bride Price (1976), The Slave Girl (1977) and The Joys of Motherhood (1979). Most of her early novels were published by Allison and Busby, where her editor was Margaret Busby

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*Second class citizen*

A poignant story of a resourceful Nigerian woman who overcomes strict tribal domination of women and countless setbacks to achieve an independent life for herself and her children, the novel is often described as semi-autobiographical. The protagonist Adah’s journey from Nigeria to London – where despite atrocious living conditions and a violent marriage, she “finds refuge in her dream of becoming a writer” – follows closely Emecheta’s own trajectory as an author.


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