Buchi Emecheta and SABLE 

We announced the sad passing of Buchi Emecheta by Twitter on the evening of 25 Jan 2017.
She died peacefully in her sleep in the early hours of that morning.
RIP to a warm, talented and inspiring woman.

Buchi Emecheta was the featured author on the cover of Sable LitMag’s official launch issue in 2005. The cover of SABLE LitMag has always championed activist writers, and as the most prolific writer of African descent in Britain, Buchi Emecheta was the perfect face for SABLE’s launch issue.


She also came to the launch event in North London at Manjaro’s, attending a specially organised gathering for her at the Humming Bird Restaurant in North London on the occasion of her receiving an OBE for her literary achievements in British Literature.


SABLE have had a long and warm relationship with Buchi Emecheta and this is now the official page created  to highlight her work, books and forthcoming news.




Biographical Information



Novelist Buchi Emecheta was born on July 21 1944 in Yaba near Lagos, Nigeria, to Jeremy Nwabudike and Alice Okwuekwu Emecheta. At a young age, Emecheta was orphaned and she spent her early childhood years being educated at a missionary school. In 1960, at the age of sixteen, Emecheta was married to Sylvester Onwordi, a student to whom she had been engaged since she was eleven. After their marriage, Sylvester and Buchi moved to London. Over the course of her six year marriage, Emecheta gave birth to five children. She has lived in London since 1960.


Emecheta’s works deal with the portrayal of the African woman and the main characters of her novels show what it means to be a woman and mother in Nigerian and British society. Many of her books are semi-autobiographical.




Book Award and Prizes


New Statesman  – Jock Campbell Award for The Slave Girl (1979)


Arts Council of Great Britain Writer Award (1982-3)


Granta –  “Best of the Young British Novelists” (1983)


OBE  – Honoured by the Queen for services to Literature (2005)







Published Titles



In the Ditch (London: Barrie & Jenkins, 1972)


Second-Class Citizen (London: Allison & Busby, 1974)


The Bride Price (London: Allison & Busby, 1976)


The Moonlight Bride (Oxford University Press, 1976)


The Slave Girl (London: Allison & Busby, 1977)


The Joys of Motherhood (London: Allison & Busby, 1979)


Titch the Cat (London: Allison & Busby, 1979) ; Children’s


Nowhere to Play (London: Allison & Busby, 1980) ; Children’s


The Wrestling Match (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1980) ; Children’s/Young Adults


Nowhere to Play (London: Allison & Busby, 1980) ; Children’s/Young Adults


Our Own Freedom (photographs by Maggie Murray; London: Sheba, 1981)


Destination Biafra (London: Allison & Busby, 1982)


Naira Power (London: Macmillan, 1982) ; Pacesetter Novels series


Adah’s Story [In the Ditch/Second-Class Citizen] (London: Allison & Busby, 1983)


The Rape of Shavi (London: Ogwugwu Afor, 1984)


Double Yoke (London: Ogwugwu Afor , 1982) (New York: George Braziller, 1983)


Head Above Water (London: Fontana, 1986) ; Autobiography


A Kind of Marriage (London: Macmillan, 1986) ; Pacesetter Novels series


Gwendolen (London: Collins, 1989)


Kehinde (Heinemann, African Writers Series, 1994)


The New Tribe (Heinemann, African Writers Series, 1999)



Plays (Broadcast)



A Kind of Marriage, BBC television, 1976


Family Bargain, BBC television, 1987




Links on Buchi Emecheta and her work


Links to interviews and the work of Buchi Emecheta


Interview by Julie Holmes of The Voice: Emecheta talks about how her Igbo heritage has informed her writing, giving it an almost autobiographical quality.



-A short outline of the themes in some of Emecheta’s major novels.



-A comprehensive collection of information and articles about Emecheta’s life, history, politics and issues in her novels.



-A lengthy excerpt from Emecheta’s 1994 novel Kehinde.



-A 2006 interview with Zhana, in which Emecheta discusses the personal difficulties and cultural set-backs she faced when she began writing.



-A detailed analysis of Emecheta’s novel The Slave Girl.



-In this critical essay, Patricia McLean discusses the complexities of The Joys of Motherhood and why it cannot simply be classed as a ‘plain feminist message’.



-A long bibliography of feminist criticism of Echemeta and other African writers.



-A complete bibliography of Emecheta’s novels, including varying publications of a particular work.



-An essay by Lena Andersson comparing depictions of Africa in Emecheta’s Destination Biafra with Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.




Information and Book Orders

For more information to purchase Buchi Emecheta’s books contact



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