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Lady This and Princess That

Joanna Biggs: On Buchi Emecheta, 7 March 2024

In the Ditch 
by Buchi Emecheta.
Penguin, 147 pp., £9.99, August 2023, 978 0 241 57812 4
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The Joys of Motherhood 
by Buchi Emecheta.
Penguin, 264 pp., £9.99, September 2022, 978 0 241 57813 1
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... In the summer of​ 1975, the Nigerian-born British novelist Buchi Emecheta went missing for a day. She tucked £10 into her purse and went to Buckingham Palace to watch the Changing of the Guard, then went to look at the glossy black door of 10 Downing Street for the first time. For lunch, she ate what she fancied – salad, cheesecake and not one, not two, but three glasses of bitter lemon – and for once had not cooked any of it ...

A Good Girl in Africa

D.A.N. Jones, 16 September 1982

Double Yoke 
by Buchi Emecheta.
Dgwugwu Afor, 163 pp., £3, September 1982, 0 9508177 0 8
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The Aerodrome 
by Rex Warner.
Bodley Head, 304 pp., £6.95, July 1982, 9780370309262
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AVery British Coup 
by Chris Mullin.
Hodder, 220 pp., £6.95, September 1982, 0 340 28586 9
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An Ice Cream War 
by William Boyd.
Hamish Hamilton, 370 pp., £7.95, September 1982, 0 241 10868 3
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Tempting Fate 
by Michael Levey.
Hamish Hamilton, 220 pp., £7.95, September 1982, 0 241 10801 2
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... Buchi Emecheta’s novel is dedicated to her 1981 students at the University of Calabar. Double Yoke is a tale of student life at that university and evidently the teacher has learned a great deal from her pupils, pulling out passages from their essays and exercises to make her own point about their lives and ideas ...

Fighting Men

D.A.N. Jones, 2 February 1984

Ring of Truth 
by Vernon Scannell.
Robson, 342 pp., £8.95, November 1983, 0 86051 244 4
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The Tiger and the Rose: An Autobiography 
by Vernon Scannell.
Robson, 197 pp., £8.95, November 1983, 0 86051 221 5
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Man of War 
by John Masters.
Joseph, 314 pp., £8.95, November 1983, 0 7181 2360 3
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The Notebook of Gismondo Cavalletti 
by R.M. Lamming.
Cape, 248 pp., £7.95, November 1983, 0 224 02141 9
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The Rape of Shavi 
by Buchi Emecheta.
Ogwugwu Afor, 178 pp., £7.95, November 1983, 0 9508177 1 6
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Thomas Lyster: A Cambridge Novel 
by David Wurtzel.
Brilliance, 215 pp., £7.95, November 1983, 0 946189 30 7
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Don’t Swing a Cat 
by Eva Bolgar.
Bachman and Turner, 143 pp., £7.50, November 1983, 0 85974 098 6
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... This prose-poem holds an irrational attraction. Much more rational, more Shavian, is Buchi Emecheta’s story of her imaginary country, Shavi. It is on the edge of the Sahara and has something in common with the tribal kingdoms of northern Nigeria, as seen by the more romantic and xenophilic writers of the south – like Miss ...

The Person in the Phone Booth

David Trotter: Phone Booths, 28 January 2010

... momentarily out of obsession. He has been touched into that awareness by the pathos of strangers. Buchi Emecheta’s Second-Class Citizen (1974) is a novel about the early phases of London’s gradual, uneven and incomplete postwar transition to a multi-ethnic metropolis. Adah leaves Lagos to join her husband, Francis, in London, where he has taken and ...

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