April Book Club | Joys of Motherhood

Joys of Motherhood

Written by Buchi Emecheta (1980)

Date & Time:

Wednesday, April 25, 2012
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM


Luann Dummer Center for Women

O'Shaughnessy Education Center, Room 103

After a childless first marriage Nnu Ego, the daughter of a Nigerian chief, is sent from her village to Lagos to marry Nnaife Owulum who works as a laundry man for an English couple. Nnaife is a weak man and the adjustment to urban living is a painful one for Nnu Ego. Her life becomes an unceasing struggle to maintain her family. Through periods of extreme hardship and deprivation, amid more intense by Nnaife’s absence during WWII, Nnu Ego is sustained by the bright future she anticipates for her children when they will be able to support her. However, the traditions she has fought to uphold and the family ties she has always honored are but an anachronism for her children: Nnu Ego is forced to live out her days alone. The Joys of Motherhood is more than just a story of Nnu Ego and her family, however. We see Nigeria as it tries to catch up with the twentieth century; a Nigeria rocked by colonialism, WWII, and the general encroachment of the modern western world on a traditional African one.

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