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Colonialism Fiction

Second Class Citizen

Second Class CitizenBuchi EmechetaAllison & Busby1974

From Wikipedia: Second Class Citizen is a 1974 novel by Nigerian writer Buchi Emecheta. A poignant story of a resourceful Nigerian woman who overcomes strict tribal domination of women and countless setbacks to achieve an independent life for herself and her children, the novel is often described as semi-autobiographical, with the journey from Nigeria to London following closely Emecheta’s own trajectory as an author.

At home in Nigeria, all a mother had to do for a baby was wash and feed him and, if he was fidgety, strap him onto her back and carry on with her work while that baby slept. But in England she had to wash piles and piles of nappies, wheel the child round for sunshine during the day, attend to his feeds as regularly as if one were serving a master, talk to the child, even if he was only a day old! Oh, yes, in England, looking after babies was in itself a full-time job.

Buchi Emecheta in Second Class Citizen