Thursday, 1 November 2012

5 Books That Made a Difference to Chika Unigwe

ON BLACK SISTERS' STREET by Chika Unigwe has just been announced the winner of the 2012 Nigeria Prize for Literature; at $100,000, it is so far the biggest literary prize in Africa.

On Black Sisters' Street, her second novel, tells the haunting yet poignant story of four women who, in a bid to escape the overwhelming toll of hardship, heartbreak, abuse and pain in Nigeria, migrate (with the help of a loud-mouthed pimp) to Europe where they become sex workers in Antwerp's red-light district.

When we chatted earlier after the announcement, I couldn't help asking her what books had had a great influence in her development as a creative writer, and very happily she mentions five books.

Here, below, I've presented her list in her own words:



EFURU by Flora Nwapa: first novel by an African woman I read. Nwapa was my first role model

ESSAYS IN LOVE by Alain de Botton: it has some amazing writing. Incredible work of nonfiction,

A HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE by Gabriel Garcia Marquez: It taught me alternative ways of writing. It also taught me to write with courage

THE BIBLE (King James Version): The Book of Job taught me how to write about pain and loss. The Psalms contain poetry.

ANNA KARENINA by Leo Tolstoy: brilliant story telling!The description of Anna's turmoil and her suicide taught me that even the goriest of events could be presented in magical prose

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