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Chigozie Obioma Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Fishermen (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
An Orchestra of Minorities (2019) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Chigozie Obioma is a well known Nigerian author, who is famous for writing contemporary, literary fiction, and adult fiction stories. He is particularly popular for writing his widely successful 2015 novel called The Fishermen. Obioma also works as an assistant professor of creative writing and literature at the Nebraska-Lincoln University. In a book review by the New York Times, he has been labeled as Chinua Achebe’s heir because of the resemblance of his writing to Achebe’s style. In 2015, the Foreign Policy magazine named Obioma as one of the 100 Global Thinkers of this generation. Author Obioma was born in 1986 in Akure, Nigeria. He is of the Igbo descent and belongs to a family of twelve siblings, 4 sisters and 8 brothers. Obioma spent the earlier years of his life growing up in Nigeria’s southwestern part. He grew up learning Igbo, English, and Yoruba. During his childhood days, Obioma was highly fascinated by the British masters and the Greek myths.

Some of the most inspiring people of his life include John Milton, John Bunyan, and Shakespeare. He even developed a great liking for the works of prominent African writers like Wole Soyinka, Camara Laye, Cyprian Ekwensi, D.O. Fagunwa, etc. Obioma has read the works of these writers in their original native languages and believes that it has helped him to grow as a writer. The other authors that have influenced Obioma’s writing include Amos Tutuola, Thomas Hardy, Vladimir Nabokov, Chinua Achebe, and Arundhati Roy. He believes that the novels written by all these novelists are rich in imagination, enduring grace, powerful prose, hearty feelings, firm philosophical views, and culture. Obioma became a well-known name after the release of his first book. It has received several literary awards and has been translated into as many as 27 languages.

The book has been listed as a Notable Book by the NY Times in 2015. It has also been labeled as the best book of the year 2015 by many literary magazines & journals like The Financial Times, Book Riot, The Observer, Wall Street Journal, Minnesota Star Tribune, The Economist, iBook, New Zealand Listener, British GQ, Library Journal, Canadian Broadcast Corporation, Relevant Magazine, and many others. The book even made it to the list of top 5 best debut novels of 2015’s spring by the Library Association of America. The Kirkus Reviews and Publishers Weekly have also hailed the book with excellent reviews. Author Obioma has written the novel as a tribute to his 11 siblings. He sees it as something that aims to build Nigeria’s portrait in the country’s seminal moment and illuminate and deconstruct all those ideological potholes that tend to impede the progress of the nation even today.

Obioma started the writing phase of the book in 2009 when he was living in Cyprus for pursuing a bachelor’s degree at the Cyprus International University. He completed his graduation as the class topper. The idea for writing this novel came into Obioma’s mind when he saw the joy on his father’s face when his elders bonded very well as grown-ups, who used to be each other’s rival and often indulged in fistfights when they were children. Obioma says that when he began thinking about the worst thing that could have resulted at that time, he remembered the Agwu family. This enabled him to create the character of Abulu, who acted as the facilitator of the brothers’ conflict. Obioma’s main intention behind writing this novel was to comment on Nigeria’s socio-political situation. He prophesied the madman as the British and the Nigerian people as the vision’s recipients. Author Obioma completed the book when he was a resident at the Ledig House of OMI in 2012. Following this, he went on to complete a Creative Writing MFA from the Michigan University. It was during this time that he won Hopwood Awards for poetry and fiction in consecutive years. The Fishermen was adapted into a stage play by the HOME theater in Manchester during the summer season of 2018.

The debut book written by author Chigozie Obioma is entitled ‘The Fishermen’. It was released in 2015 by Little Brown & Company. It is set in Nigeria and tells the story of the central character named Benjamin and his 3 brothers. The book introduces Benjamin as a 9-year-old boy, who narrates the story of his family and his own childhood in the style of Cain & Abel. Benjamin is the youngest among the 4 brothers living in Akure, who are known as The Fishermen. When their father travels to a different city in relation to work, the four brothers decide to take advantage of their father’s absence. They go fishing by skipping school. They go to a nearby river that is forbidden to enter because of the high risk. The brothers come across a madman near the river, who persuades the eldest brother that one of the brothers will kill him in the future. This sets of a serious set of events in which the brothers start fighting among themselves. The two eldest siblings try to kill each other based on a false claim by the madman. The events that follow next begins a mythic sequence that transcends the lives of each of the brothers. It even affects the readers in a dazzling, powerful, and visceral way. Author Obioma has used this story to describe the situation in Nigeria and has mentioned many striking similarities between the country and the family’s destiny. It was very much appreciated by the readers across the globe. The book helped the author Obioma to become a well-known name in the writing world. Even many prominent critics applauded his effort in coming up with this great novel and motivated him to write many more inspiring stories in the years to come.

Another successful book penned by Obioma is called ‘An Orchestra of Minorities’. It was released in January 2019. The lead characters of this book are shown as Chinonso, Ndali, and Chi. The story opens by showing Chinonso as a poultry farmer. His life takes an unexpected turn after he witnesses a woman trying to commit suicide by jumping off of a bridge. He hurls the prized chickens of his farm and makes the woman stop the act of committing suicide. After this incident, the woman named Ndali falls in love with Chinonso. She wishes to get married to him, but his wealthy and educated background becomes an obstacle. Ndali’s family does not accept Chinonso because of being poor and illiterate. After this, Chinonso sells all his possessions and gets into Cyprus University with the intention of matching the social status of Ndali and get accepted by her family. But, as soon as he reaches Cyprus, he learns that the person who arranged his admission into the university has duped him. Chinonso becomes penniless and homeless. He regrets his decision of falling for the beautiful Ndali in the first place. This book tells a great story about determination and destiny.

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