A new chapter in Nigeria’s literature

“When I started writing in the early 2000s, there were very few other young Nigerians being published internationally — Chimamanda Adichie, Helon Habila, Chris Abani and Sefi Atta,” recalls Chika Unigwe, the Nigerian novelist. “Farafina was one of the few local publishers dedicated to quality fiction, and you could count the number of literary events on the fingers of one hand.”

A little over a decade later, much has changed. Publishers such as Cassava Republic and Parrésia are at the centre of a thriving literary scene. Book festivals, once restricted to Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, are springing up in Abeokuta (the Ake Book and Arts Festival) and the oil industry hub of Port Harcourt (the Garden City Literary Festival) — the city notorious a decade ago for kidnappings of expatriate oil workers. In April, Port Harcourt ended its year-long stint as Unesco’s World Book Capital.

Read more: Financial Times

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