Exile in early Nigerian literature: a comparative study of Nwana's Omenuko and Achebe's Things Fall Apart

Ugochukwu, Francoise (2011). Exile in early Nigerian literature: a comparative study of Nwana's Omenuko and Achebe's Things Fall Apart. In: Tasew, Yilma Tafere ed. OUTCAST: The Plight of Black African Refugees, Volume I. Trenton, NJ, U.S: The Red Sea Press, pp. 101–115.

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Abstract

Before exile emerged as a major theme in African literatures, two landmark novels that paved the way for Nigerian literature from Igboland, Nwana’s Omenuko (1933) and Achebe’s Things fall apart (1958), provided a parallel reflection on the subject of exile within the confines of the same cultural and linguistic area, highlighting its different facets. The first novel, written in Igbo, presents the immigrant face of exile, a movement forward, while the second, written in English and published twenty-five years later, focuses on its emigrant face and the painful longing for home. The study reveals striking similarities between the two main protagonists, Omenuko and Okonkwo, from their background to their character and story, while highlighting how their character and circumstances shape their destiny.

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