Of This Our Country

Acclaimed Nigerian writers on the home, identity and culture they know

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Pub Date 30 Sep 2021 | Archive Date 1 Apr 2022


To define Nigeria is to tell a half-truth. Many have tried, but most have concluded that it is impossible to capture the true scope and significance of Africa’s most populous nation through words or images.

And yet here, through personal essays from 24 of its writers, a more accurate picture comes into view: one that details the realities and contradictions of patriotism, examines the role of class and privilege in Nigerian society, juxtaposes inherited tradition with the diasporic experience and explores the power of storytelling and its intrinsic link to Nigeria’s history.

Within these pages, acclaimed and award-winning writers share memories and experiences of Nigeria that can be found nowhere else, bringing to the fore a country whose influence can be found everywhere.

Powerful, lyrical and entirely unforgettable, OF THIS OUR COUNTRY weaves together a living portrait of Nigeria, one that is as beautiful as it is complex.

With essays from: Nels Abbey, Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀, Yomi Adegoke, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Oyinkan Akande, Ike Anya, Sefi Atta, Bolu Babalola, J K Chukwu, Abi Daré, Inua Ellams
Chịkọdịlị Emelụmadụ, Caleb Femi, Helon Habila, Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, Anietie Isong, Okey Ndibe, Chigozie Obioma, Irenosen Okojie, Cheluchi Onyemelukwe, Lola Shoneyin, Umar Turaki, Chika Unigwe and Hafsa Zayyan.

To define Nigeria is to tell a half-truth. Many have tried, but most have concluded that it is impossible to capture the true scope and significance of Africa’s most populous nation...

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ISBN 9780008469283
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Featured Reviews

Of This, Our Country is an anthology of shared and varied experiences of twenty-four Nigerian writers who were given the brief to reflect on the Nigeria they know. The brief further specifies that they share personal significant memories of how and where they have experienced Nigeria, whether that be in the country itself or in aspects of its culture and tradition found elsewhere in the world. The following quote "from the outside looking in it is hard to understand, from the inside looking out it is hard to explain" best describes the challenge put to these writers. Reading this book is akin to being given extracts of the writers' memoirs. What comes across is how their various experiences have contributed to their chosen careers as storytellers either by accident or design. The stories cover different aspects of Nigeria such as culture, politics, education, classism, arts, history, religion and so on. The diverse experiences make this book a compelling read. The editors of the book, Ore Agbaje and Nancy Adimora have produced a work of literary significance that will no doubt produce several hours of discussion in a book club or social setting.

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As an Anglo- Nigerian, I've been desperate to read this book since I first heard of it, and I'm so grateful to have had an advance copy.
It was everything it promised to be - a taste of home, a living portrait of the most wonderful, terrible, beautiful, ugly, promising, disappointing country in the world. I loved it. And have pre-ordered in hardback.

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