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Chibundu Onuzo Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Spider King's Daughter (2012)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Welcome to Lagos (2017)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Sankofa (2021)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Chibundu Onuzo otherwise known as Imachibundu Oluwadara Onuzo is a bestselling literary fiction author from Nigeria who has lived through an internet revolution, five grandmothers, two boarding schools and two military dictatorships.

She signed her first book deal as a nineteen year old and in 2018 earned her doctoral degree in History from King’s College London.
“The Spider King’s Daughter,” which she published in 2012 made the longlist for the Etisalat Literature Prize and the Desmond Elliott Prize, made the shortlist for the Commonwealth Book Prize and the Dylan Thomas Prize and won the Betty Trask Award.

She also made the shortlist for the RSL Encore Award for her second novel published in 2017. Onuzo is a regular contributor to the “Guardian” and “1991” her autobiographical show sold out in its premier at the 2018 London Literature Festival.

She has also produced “Dolapo Is Fine,” a short action short film, which was the winner of the HBO Short Film Competition. When she is not writing her novels, she can be found singing or playing the piano.

Onuzo grew up in a very quiet estate in Lagos to an Igbo father and a Yoruba mother. After three years at the Atlantic Hall for her primary school studies, she went to the Winchester based St. Swithuns, where she shortened her name to Chibs and perfected her phonetics.

Chibundu would then attend King’s College London, where she took up her full name of Chibundu once again. Even though she started thinking of becoming an author, she never once thought of it when growing up. All she wanted to do was become a lawyer since she used to talk a lot when she was a child.
She also thought she would not mind becoming a concert pianist as she played piano a lot during this time and still does. At King’s College London, she decided to study history, which her parents did not take too kindly.

What helped them accept her decision was that she had an engineer and barrister for sisters and an economist for a brother.
She still thinks she should have taken medicine so that they could have the perfect professional offspring ideal for her parents. But she had to withdraw from medicine as she found it too serious for someone of her disposition.

Even though Chibundu Onuzo made her first attempt at writing her novel as a ten year old, it was not until she was a college student that she started writing in all earnestness. While she believed her manuscript was very bad, she was surprised when an agent sent her an email saying she wanted to submit it to publishers.

She was even more surprised when The Spider King’s Daughter became a bestselling title. Since then she has gone on to write two other bestselling titles in Sankofa and Welcome to Lagos.

Even though she never planned on becoming an author she has read and enjoyed the works of several others over the years. Some of the readers Chibundu loves reading include Tolstoy for his unflinching gaze on character and Charles Dickens for his lively storytelling.
Chibundu Onuzo has also been influenced by the controlled flamboyance of Wole Soyinka.

“Welcome to Lagos” by Chibundu Onuzo is a novel set deep in the Niger Delta where Chike Ameobi is an army officer that has deserted the army and is heading to Lagos. He is soon joined by a runaway middle class wife, a wayward private, a vulnerable young woman, and a naive militant, all of whom aspire to new life and freedom.

As they strive to make their way in Lagos they find themselves mired in political scandal. The editor of the “Nigerian Journal” is a man named Ahmed Bakare who will do anything to report the truth, even as his paper is failing.

On the other side is Chief Sandayo the government minister who is determined to maintain his position no matter what. The four friends find themselves trapped between the two powerful men and will need to make a hard life changing decision.

Full of detail, the novel is a brilliant portrayal of seven lives which intersect in a breathless story of survival and courage. It is not demonstratively negative nor positive propaganda toward the state or culture, but an exploration of the truth of life in Nigeria.

Chibundu Onuzo’s novel “Sankofa” is the story of Anna, a woman who is wondering who she really is. She is recently separated from her husband, her mother who was the only parent she had left is dead and her daughter is now an adult who can take care of herself.

When she is rummaging through her mother’s things she stumbles upon documents that say she has an African father that she never met. According to his student journals, he used to be involved in radical politics in London during the 1970s.

She learns that the man would eventually become the dictator of a small West African country and happens to still be living. Anna wants to find her father by all means necessary and embarks on a journey that is disarmingly fascinating, funny and moving.

Similar to the metaphorical bird from which the novel gets its name, it is an expression of the importance of reaching back and getting knowledge that can be useful in the present.

Anna uses this to answer the many questions she has always had about the African experience in the west, universal questions about belonging and race and the search for one’s roots.

“The Spider King’s Daughter” by Chibundu Onuzo is all about the collision of parallel worlds of Abike and Runner G.
Runner G would be happy if he sells ice cream worth just 2000 Naira while Abike is headed to Yale University in the summer. Abike is living her dream life in a palace in Lagos where she gets to enjoy well manicured gardens adorned with fountains, pools and bronze statues.

In the meantime, Runner G has to walk through piles of garbage just to get to the Mile 12 flat he shares with a depressive mother and sister. Abike lives in an impenetrable fortress while Runner G has to endure the sound of gunshots as neighboring flats are attacked by armed robbers.

But in a city with 20,00 people for every square kilometer, the probability of people from different worlds crossing paths is very high. That is just what happens when Abike decides to buy ice cream from a hawker out of the window of her air conditioned chauffered car.

The two are so taken by each other and go on a few dates which strengthen their relationship even more. But just when things are going so well a troubling and dark past comes calling and puts everything they ever held dear to the test.

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