Early fiction in Igbo—the pioneers *
DOI link for Early fiction in Igbo—the pioneers *
Early fiction in Igbo—the pioneers * book
This chapter focuses on the first Igbo novel Omenuko, published in 1933—its wide popularity, best-seller image, and its decades as a classic in Igbo literature. It remains the most widely read novel in Igbo language. Successive generations of Igbo children began their reading in Igbo with Omenuko. The author’s narrative skills and word manipulation were such that the protagonist Omenuko’s sayings became part of the Igbo speech repertoire which the young adult was expected to acquire. The English translation of the novel was published in 2014 to make it accessible to non-Igbo readers. This chapter further discusses the works of Pita Nwana’s two contemporaries—D.N. Achara and Leopold Bell-Gam and their place in the overall history of the Igbo novel.