Today, Friday, 13th January 2016, google is celebrating a renowned Nigerian author, Flora Nwapa. This can be seen at the top image which appears on the google home page, just above the search engine icon.
Google through its home page sometimes celebrates notable personalities who have in one way contributed to humanity.
Flora Nwapa has a legacy of being the forerunner to a generation of African women writers. She is the first Nigerian woman writer and the first African woman to publish a novel through her Tata Press.
In 1966 her book, Efuru, Nwapa became Africa’s first internationally published female novel in the English language (Heinemann Educational Books).
Nwapa has been called the mother of modern African literature. She also is known for her governmental work in reconstruction after the Biafran War. In particular, she worked with orphans and refugees that were displaced during the war. Furthermore, she worked as a publisher of African literature and promoted women in African society.
Born 13 January 1931, in Oguta, Florence Nwanzuruahu Nkiru Nwapa, while never considering herself a feminist, is best known for recreating life and traditions from a woman’s viewpoint.
She saw her work as an intervention in an African literary culture where women were often portrayed from a male-centered perspective. She saw her novels as an attempt to think of African femininity beyond the idea of victimization.
She was tired of the way male writers represented African women in their novels. African women were more than simply poor traders, prostitutes, and unhappy wives. Writing her own novels allowed her to refashion African femininity through complex and multi-faceted characters.
As a writer, Nwapa drew inspiration from everywhere. Her writing was influenced by Achebe and Christopher Okigbo, who were also her close friends, but she also drew inspiration from Hemingway and Bernard Shaw.
Nwapa’s work inspired a generation of writers and thinkers, the most prominent of which is Chimamanda Adichie. Adichie has said that she owes her success as a writer to Nwapa’s pioneering work.
Flora Nwapa died of pneumonia on 16 October 1993 in Enugu, Nigeria. Her works include;
- Efuru (1966)
- Never Again (1975)
- One is Enough (1981)
- Women are Different (1986)