The Joys of Motherhood by Buchi Emecheta
Set in the early 1900s, Emecheta’s novel spans the life of generations of Nigerians across various parts of the country. It is a rich historical narrative around the life of one young Nigerian, Nnu Ego, for whom motherhood becomes a central tenant of life.
Many women shy away from this Emecheta classic because the title appears to purport a certain perspective, that about the ‘joys’ of motherhood. But rather than a campaign in support of maternity, this novel uses ordinary events to bring to the fore psychological issues African women wrestle with as it pertains to the issue of motherhood.
A reviewer in the magazine, West Africa, wrote: “Buchi Emecheta has a way of making readable and interesting ordinary events. She looks at things without flinching and without feeling the need to distort of exaggerate. It is a remarkable talent…. this is, in my opinion, the best novel Buchi Emecheta has yet written.”