This paper aims to document the efforts of Nigerian female novelists.
Three of them will be discussed in detail to explore the relevance of their
themes to Nigerian development, and the views expressed on the status of
women in the society. Suggestions will be given on how their contributions
can inspire other women to utilize their potentials in the process of
nation building. The task of documenting the works of Nigerian female novelists whose themes are relevant to Nigerian development has been a difficult one. Most libraries in this country have no up—to-date records or materials on them, while some of the texts are not available in Nigeria for any one interested in such a research to use. The problems of non—reliable data, and lack of books notwithstanding, I have tried to put together the pieces of information gathered from various sources. Flora Nwapa is Nigeria’s first woman novelist, and a really powerful writer. Writing about one of her novels Adewale Maja-Pearce says:
… our one indisputable masterpiece. I’m referring to Flora Nwapa’s Efuru, which in terms of clarity, simplicity and—truthfulness, has yet to be surpassed and which will, I’m sure, come to be recognized as one of the
greatest novels of the twentieth-century …