Related Resources


Bibliography of writings on Nigerian market literature :
a sequel

Note.—This bibliography is a sequel to "Bibliography of writings on Nigerian market literature," in Market literature from Nigeria : a checklist, ed. by Peter Hogg and Ilse Sternberg, pp. xiii-xix (London : British Library, 1990).  Hogg & Sternberg is the standard bibliographic work both of and about Onitsha market literature.  The bibliography cited above includes 89 sources about the genre that were published or written prior to 1985.  The compilation below lists sources written since that date and also includes a few earlier works not included in Hogg & Sternberg’s bibliography.

The various compilations of Bernth Lindfors’ Black African Literature in English, spanning most of the period covered by this listing, were invaluable for this project.  Other bibliographies and databases consulted include African Studies Abstracts (Leiden), International African Bibliography (London), Africa Bibliography (Manchester and Dover, NH), WorldCat, Dissertation Abstracts Online, Africana Conference Paper Index, and the online catalog of the Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies at Northwestern University.


Books and Journal Articles

  • A., T. “Ekwensi roots for Onitsha brand.”  Sunday Times (Lagos), 3 March 1991, 3.
  • Adamu, Yusuf M. “Between the Word and the Screen: A historical perspective on the Hausa literary movement and the home video invasion, ”Journal of African Cultural Studies 15 (2) 2002, 202-213.
  • Adinuba, C. Don.  "Onitsha market literature.”  Manchester Guardian, 11 April 1987: 13; 18 April 1987: 13; 25 April 1987: 13.
  • Ajayi, Femi. "Youth novels : Longman sounds the gong.”  Daily Times (Lagos), 18 July 1987, 13.
  • Akosa, Chike. Heroes and Heroines of Onitsha.  1st ed.  Onitsha: The Author, 1987.
  • Anafulu, Joseph C. The Igbo-Speaking Peoples of Nigeria. Munchen: Kraus International, 1981, pp. 137-149.
  • [Anon.] "Popular literature killed.”  Sunday Nation (Nairobi), 16 February 1986, 11.
  • Anya, Udegbunem and Lee Nichols Udegbunem Anya. Nigeria (Onitsha market writer) [sound recording].  [Washington, D.C.] : Voice of America.[1975-1979?]
  • Ballard, W. L (ed.). Essays on African Literature. Atlanta: School of Arts and Sciences, Georgia State University, 1973. pp.175-91.
  • Barber, K. "Popular Arts in Africa." African Studies Review, 30 (3), (1987), 1-78.
  • Basden, G. T. Niger Ibos: A description of the primitive life, customs and animistic beliefs, etc. of the Ibo people of Nigeria. London: Cass, 1966.
  • Bastian, Misty Laurette "The World as marketplace: Historical, cosmological, and popular constructions of the Onitsha market system (Igbo, Nigeria).”  Thesis (Ph.D.)—University of Chicago, Cultural Anthropology, 1992.
  • Bello, Sule and Abdullahi R. Augi. Culture and the Book Industry in Nigeria. Lagos: National Council for Arts and Culture, 1993.
  • Chukukere, Gloria Chineze. Gender Voices and Choices: Redefining Women in Contemporary African Fiction. Enugu: Fourth Dimension Publishers, 1995.
  • Coulon, Virginia.  "Onitsha Goes National: Nigerian writing in Macmillan’s pacemaker series.”  Research in African Literatures, 18 (1987): 304-319.
  • Darah, G. G. (Ed.). Radical Essays on Nigerian Literatures. Lagos: Malthouse Press, 2008.
  • Diala, Isidore    “Conditions of Production for Writing, Publishing and Studying Literature in Africa: The Nigerian situation.” African Research and    Documentation (2006) No. 100, p11 – 19.
  • Ekwensi, Cyprian. When Love Whispers. Onitsha: Tabansi Bookshop, 196-? .
  • Eleurius, E. John.  "Ogali A. Ogali’s Veronica my daughter, a classical representative of popular literature in Nigeria.”  Paper presented at the annual meeting of the African Literature Association, Howard University, Washington, D.C., 1982.  
  • Erwin, Lee. Genre and Authority in Some Popular Nigerian Women's Novels. Research in African Literatures, 33(2), 81-99. 2002
  • Furniss, Graham. Documenting Kano 'Market' Literature. Africa Bibliography VII-XXIII:ill,, 1998.
  • Gomwalk, Philemon Victor. "Aspects of language use in the Onitsha pamphlet literature : a systematic approach.”  Thesis (M.A.)—Ahmadu Bello University, 1986.
  • Granqvist, Raoul. Signs & Signals: Popular Culture in Africa.Umea, Sweden: University of Umea Press, 1990. pp. 173-81.
  • Griswold, Wendy. Bearing witness : readers, writers, and the novel in Nigeria.  Princeton, NJ : Princeton University Press, 2000.
  • Heywood, Christopher.  Perspectives on African Literature. New York: Africana Pub. Corp., 1971. pp. 106-116.
  • Hungerford, Hilary.  “Onitsha Market Literature and Negotiations of Modernity in Nigeria,” Thesis (M.A.)--University of Kansas, Department of Geography, 2007.
  • Igwebueze, Frank. "Ogali Ogali : the undisputed king of Onitsha market literature.”  National Concord (Lagos) 10 (October 1988): 5.
  • Kahmann, Annette. "Beward of women! : presentations of women in Onitsha market literature.”  Nommo 2, no. 1 (1985): 40-48.
  • Killam, Gordon Douglas (Ed.) The Companion to African Literatures in English. James Curry Publishers, 2000.
  • Larkin, B. “Indian Films and Nigerian Lovers: Media and the creation of parallel modernities.” Africa 67(3) 406 - 440
  • Larson, Charles R. The Emergence of African Fiction. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1972. pp. 66-92.
  • Larson, Charles R. The Ordeal of the African Writer. London: Zed Books, 2001.
  • Lindfors, Bernth. Critical Perspectives on Nigerian Literatures. Washington: Three Continents Press, 1976. pp. 194-211.
  • Lindfors, Bernth. "Popular Literature for an African Elite." Journal of Modern African Studies 12.3 (1974): 471-86.
  • Lindfors, Bernth.  Popular literatures in Africa.  Trenton, NJ : Africa World Press, c1991.
  • Middleton, John. Black Africa: Its peoples and their cultures today. New York: Macmillan, 1970. pp. 174-180.
  • Newell, Stephanie. "Corresponding with the city: Self‐help literature in urban West Africa." Journal of Postcolonial Writing, 44.1(2008): 15-27
  • Newell, Stephanie.  "From the Brink of Oblivion: The Anxious Masculinism of Nigerian Market Literatures." Research in African Literatures 7.3 (1996): 50-67.
  • Newell, Stephanie. "Petrified Masculinities? Contemporary Nigerian Popular Literature by Men." Journal of Popular Culture, 30.4 (1997):161-82.
  • Newell, Stephanie. Readings in African Popular Fiction. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2002.
  • Nichols, Lee. "An Onitsha market writer. ”African Literature Association Bulletin (Edmonton) 16, no. 2 (1990): 83.  
  • Nikiforova, Irina D. "The Development and Distinctive Features of Forms of the Novel in African Literature. ”Research in African Literatures18 (1987): 422-433.
  • Obi, Amanze. "Onitsha market literature revisited.”  Manchester Guardian, 18 August 1991: B5.
  • Obiechina, Emmanuel. "Market literature in Nigeria." Kunapipi 30.2 (2008).
  • Ochiagha, Terri. "Decolonizing the Mind Onitsha-Style: Reexamining Ogali A. Ogali's Cultural Nationalism in The Juju Priest." Research in African Literatures 46. 1 (2015): 90-106
  • Ogali, Ogali A. Veronica My Daughter and Other Onitsha Market Plays and Stories. Washington, D.C.: Three Continents Press, 1980.
  • Okome, Onookome. “Reading the Popular: Onitsha Market Romance and the Practice of Everyday Life.” In: Teaching the African Novel, ed. by Guarav Desai. New York: Modern Language Association of America, 2009, pp. 386 - 401.
  • Okoro, Innocent O. “From Onitsha market literature to general trade book publishing in Nigeria.”
  • Onyemelukwe, J. O. C "Some Factors in the Growth of West African Market Towns: The example of pre-civil war Onitsha, Nigeria." Urban Studies 11(1) (1974): 47-60.
  • Oyiliagho, Victor. "Obiechina sounds knell on Onitsha literature.”  Manchester Guardian 17 November 1987: 13.
  • Petersen, Kirsten Holst and Rutherford, Anna (eds.). Cowries and Kobos: The West African oral tale and short story. Mundelstrup, Denmark:Dangaroo Press, 1981. pp. 47-50.
  • Porter, Gerald   "Market Forces: Onitsha pamphlets and the postcolonial experience.”  In Signs and signals : popular culture in Africa, ed. by Raoul Granqvist, 173-181.  Umea : Acta Universitatis Umensis, 1990.
  • Press, John. Commonwealth Literature: Unity and diversity in a common culture. London: Heinemann, 1965. pp. 144-150.
  • Ricard, Alain. "La littérature d’Onitsha.”  Année Africaine (1978): 387-396.
  • Roscoe, Adrian. A Mother is Gold: A study in West African literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1971. pp. 143-154.
  • Rubenstein, Joseph. "On Nigerian pop culture.”  Dialectical Anthropology 3 (1978): 261-267.
  • Sander, Reinhard W. "Attitudes towards science and technology in African trivial literature: The example of Onitsha market literature.”  In Cultural development, science, and technology in Sub-Saharan Africa, ed. by Klaus Gottstein and Gotz Link, 131-139.   Baden-Baden : Nomos, 1986.
  • Sander, Reinhard W. "A Checklist of Works by Nigerian Popular Writer Ogali A. Ogali." Research in African Literatures 9.3 (1978): 445-448.
  • Schipper, Mineke. Afrikaanse letterkunde.  Utrecht : Spectrum, 1983.
  • Schmied, Josef J.  English in Africa: an introduction. New York: Longman, 1991.
  • Seiler-Dietrich, Almut. Die Literaturen Schwartzafrikas: Eine einführung.  Munich : Beck, 1984.
  • Solanke, Stephen O. "Exploring and bibliographing the Nigerian Onitsha market literature as popular fiction. International Journal of English Literature and Culture. 2.11 (2014): 277-290
  • Sullivan, Joanna. "The Question of a National Literature for Nigeria." Research in African Literatures, 32.3 (2001): 71-85.
  • Thometz, Kurt. The important book of Nigerian market literature: A bibliography.  [New York?] : The Author, [1990-1998?]
  • Thometz, Kurt. “Life Turns Man Up and Down: High life, useful advice and mad English.” African market literature (1st Ed.).  New York : Pantheon Books, 2001.
  • Ulli Beier & Migila Haus. "Public Opinion on Lovers: Popular Nigerian Literature Sold in Onitsha Market." Critical Interventions, 2:1-2 (2008), 142-157, DOI: 10.1080/19301944.2008.10781335
  • Wauthier, Claude. "Littérature et 'sous-littérature'." Jeune-Afrique 11 March 1972: 70.
  • Whitsitt, Novian. “Islamic-Hausa Feminism meets Northern Nigerian Romance: The cautious rebellion of Bilkisu Funtuwa.” African Studies Review 46(1) 137-153 (2003)
  • Williams, Gavin. Nigeria: Economy and society. London: Collings, 1976.
  • Zell, Hans. "Publishing in West Africa: Producing books against the odds." West Africa 3241 (1979): 1553-56.

Book Reviews

  • The Complete Review
    Includes reviews of approximately 20 Onitsha pamphlets, with assessments provided by the Complete Review editorial staff, as well as brief information about the authors and links to related online sources.

Library Collections

  • Cooperative Africana Materials Project (CAMP)
    A checklist of 78 Onitsha pamphlets available on microfilm from the Cooperative Africana Microform Project. The collection is available on loan to borrowers from libraries holding membership in CAMP or the Center for Research Libraries.
  • Onitsha Market Literature at Indiana University
    Compiled by Marion Frank Wilson, librarian for African Studies at Indiana University. Includes a list of approximately 170 pamphlets in the IU collection and a useful bibliography of secondary sources
  • Onitsha Market Literature at the University of Florida
    Digitized collection of 13 pamphlets, with contextual notes and a brief list of sources for further reading
  • Onitsha Market Literature at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria
    Collection of 78 indigenously published English language pamphlets from Nigeria on the Onitsha market literature genre containing stories, plays, advice, moral discourses, and other forms of popular literature; pamphlets originally printed approx. 1948-1963.

Notes on Book Collectors

Online Publications about Onitsha Market Literature and Authors

Compiled by Kenneth P. Lohrentz, African Studies Librarian Emeritus, University of Kansas Libraries with assistance from graduate students Joy Wrolson and Mfon Udoinyang.