Amadi, Elechi

Amadi, Elechi, 1934–2016, Nigerian novelist, one of the first generation of African novelists who wrote in English; grad. University College, Ibadan. An Ikwerre, he is best known for the novel The Concubine (1966, film 2007), a tale of love, love potions, and the spirit world in rural precolonial Nigeria that is taught in schools throughout Africa. It, The Great Ponds (1969), and The Slave (1978) form a trilogy that portrays traditional Nigerian village life. The novel Estrangement (1985) concerns Nigerian life in the aftermath of the Biafran war of the late 1960s (see Biafra, Republic of), during which Amadi served in the Nigerian army; his Sunset in Biafra (1973) is a diary of that war. Other works include the plays Isiburu (1973) and The Woman of Calabar (2002), the influential treatise Ethics in Nigerian Culture (1982), and Speaking and Singing (Papers and Poems) (2003).

See critical biography by E. Eko (1991); studies by R. Nesbitt (1974), G. Nyamndi (1983), and S. Koroye, ed. (2008).

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