Appearing in 1966, Efuru was the first internationally published book, in English, by a Nigerian woman. Flora Nwapa (1931–1993) sets her story in a small village in colonial West Africa as she describes the youth, marriage, motherhood, and eventual personal epiphany of a young woman in rural Nigeria. The respected and beautiful protagonist, an independent-minded Ibo woman named Efuru, wishes to be a mother. Her eventual tragedy is that she is not able to marry or raise children successfully. Alone and childless, Efuru realizes she surely must have a higher calling and goes to the lake goddess of her tribe, Uhamiri, to discover the path she must follow.

The work, a rich exploration of Nigerian village life and values, offers a realistic picture of gender issues in a patriarchal society as well as the struggles of a nation exploited by colonialism.
“Yet another opportunity for the uninitiated to understand the symbolic and religious network of codes and attitudes that undergird African fiction and African spirituality. An engaging text about the power of the feminine in African culture.” — Biodun Ogundayo, University of Pittsburgh, Bradford

“I am thrilled that Efuru is back in print! I use it every year in African Cultural Traditions. Nwapa is an invaluable female voice in early African literature.” — Monique Kerman, Western Washington University

“It’s wonderful to discover this new Waveland reprint. It’s a significant work that anyone teaching Achebe’s Things Fall Apart should well make sure they bring into the discussion.” — Chiji Akoma, Villanova University