Buchi Emecheta, Author Of The Joys Of Motherhood, Passes On At 72

Buchi Emecheta - Death - The Joys of Motherhood - The Slave Girl - African book - African writers - Nigerian book - Homeland Reviews

Last night, I brought my copy of “The Slave Girl” by Buchi Emecheta down from my shelf for Instagram. While I was debating if it would be my last read for January, this came up.

This news is devastating to me, since I basically only discovered her work last year ( that sounds really selfish, I know).  My prayers are with her family and I hope they find the strength to cope with their loss In Jesus Name.

Buchi Emecheta

Florence Onyebuchi “Buchi” Emecheta  (21 July 1944 – 25 January 2017) was a Nigerian novelist. She was the author of over 20 books, including the timeless “The Joys of Motherhood”. Her themes of child slavery, motherhood, female independence and freedom through education won her much critical acclaim and honours. Including an Order of the British Empire in 2005.

She was as feminist as they came, though she strongly rejected the label.

“I work toward the liberation of women, but I’m not feminist. I’m just a woman.”

“What I am trying to do is get our profession back. Women are born storytellers. We keep the history. We are the true conservatives – we conserve things and we never forget. What I do is not clever or unusual. It is what my aunt and my grandmother did, and their mothers before them.”


She began writing about her experiences of Black British life in a regular column in the New Statesman. A collection of these pieces became her first published book in 1972, In the Ditch. The semi-autobiographical book chronicled the struggles of a main character named Adah, forced to live in a housing estate while working as a librarian to support her five children. Her second novel published two years later, Second-Class Citizen, also drew on Emecheta’s own experiences. Both books were eventually published in one volume under the title Adah’s Story.

Book Review - The Joys of Motherhood - Buchi Emecheta - Naijabookworm



  • In the Ditch 
  • Second-Class Citizen 
  • The Bride Price 
  • The Slave Girl 
  • The Joys of Motherhood 
  • The Moonlight Bride 
  • Our Own Freedom
  • Destination Biafra 
  • Naira Power 
  • Adah’s Story 
  • The Rape of Shavi 
  • Double Yoke 
  • A Kind of Marriage 
  • Gwendolen
  • Kehinde 
  • The New Tribe


  • Head Above Water

Children’s/Young Adults

  • Titch the Cat
  • Nowhere to Play
  • The Wrestling Match 


  • A Kind of Marriage, BBC television.
  • Family Bargain, BBC television, 1987.


  • The Black Scholar, November–December 1985, p. 51.
  • “Feminism with a Small ‘f’!” Criticism and Ideology: Second African Writer’s Conference, Stockholm 1988, edited by Kirsten H. Petersen, pp. 173–181. Uppsala: Scandinanvian Institute of African Studies, 1988.
  • Essence magazine, August 1990, p. 50.
  • New York Times Book Review, 29 April 1990.
  • Publishers Weekly, 16 February 1990, p. 73; reprinted 7 February 1994, p. 84.
  • World Literature Today, Autumn 1994, p. 867.

May her soul find perfect peace with God…

What was your favourite Buchi Emecheta book?

Obsessed with books.

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  1. I was about taking a road trip, paused by a book stand and Joys of Motherhood was the book that I chose to accompany me. And it was a great read. I made a mental note to look out for other books by the author, Had never heard or read any other of her books . Haven’t even kept up with that only to hear she’s gone.
    Felt sad. Tho I only knew of her recently, felt sad on hearing of her passing.
    May God comfort her family. Amen.

  2. I’m sad to hear this news. The Joys of Motherhood is a favorite book by Buchi Emecheta. The Bride Price, however, is the first book that I ever read by her, decades ago.

    1. Wow! I only started reading her books tbh. For some reason, her books are difficult to acquire in Nigeria

      1. That’s too bad, since one might consider Buchi Emecheta to be one of Nigeria’s national treasures! I think that here in the states many of us became aware of her because the writer, Alice Walker, spoke so highly of her work.

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