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Top Widely Read Books Written By Nigerians

Should you be surprised to know that many books written by Nigerian authors are read in many corners of the world?

Well, you should not be. The country has lots of talented writers who have gained both national and international recognition through their works.

Since these books are not just entertaining but also educative about the classical and contemporary African society, the global audience tends to pay good attention to them.

However, today we shall look at the top 5 widely read books written by Nigerians.

Things Fall Apart

Things Fall Apart was written by Chinua Achebe in 1958. Since then, over 20 million copies have been sold.

The book has also been translated into more than 50 languages. These points should draw to your attention that it has been exposed to a wide range of audiences across the world.

This novel was set in eastern Nigeria and it tells the story of the people, around Okonkwo the protagonist.


Americanah was first published in 2013. It was written by the widely-read author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. With this book, Adichie won the 2013 U.S. National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction.

Lots of copies of the book have been sold since 2013 such that by December 2013, the book rocketed to the number 179 spot on Amazon’s list of bestselling books.

Americanah tells a story of Ifemelu and Obinze around the circumstances of their lives. It has Nigeria, the United States, and United Kingdom settings.

Half of Yellow Sun

Just before Americanah, Chimamanda Adichie wowed the literary sphere with this book titled, “Half of a Yellow Sun”. It was originally published in 2006. The book tells a story of Ugwu, Odenigbo, Olanna, Kainene and others around the themes of war, marriage, politics, and so on.

The book has received several awards and recognitions since it was published. In 2019, it was named in BBC News list of 100 most influential novels. That same year, it was ranked by Guardian as the 10th best book since 2000

Stay With Me

This book written by Ayobami Adebayo was first published in 2017. That same year, it was nominated for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. “Stay with Me” was also longlisted for the International Dylan Thomas Prize, among many other nominations and awards.

The story features superstition and an uncanny fate of a woman desperate to get pregnant for her husband. It sets in southwestern Nigeria hence blending in the culture of the Yoruba people.

The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives

Yet another popular book written by a Nigerian author is this novel written by Titilola Alexandrah Shoneyin. This debut novel of Lola was originally published in 2010.

The story features the struggles, politics, rivalry and the interplay of personalities and relationships within a polygamous home. It is an unapologetic revelation of the contemporary polygamy in Nigeria.

This novel has been translated into seven languages including Italian. In 2011, it was longlisted for the Orange Prize. It also won the 2011 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Literary Award.

The idea that Nigerian books are widely read across the world is unrivalled. These are just a tip of the iceberg; the list could continue, however.


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