Monday, May 23, 2011

Chika Unigwe's six favorite books

Chika Unigwe was born in Nigeria and now lives in Belgium. She was a 2008 UNESCO-Aschberg fellow and a 2009 Rockefeller Foundation fellow (at the Bellagio Center), and she holds a Ph.D. from the University of Leiden. She is the recipient of several awards for her writing, including first prize in the 2003 BBC Short Story Competition and a Commonwealth Short Story Competition award. In 2004 she was shortlisted for the Caine prize for African Writing. Her stories have been on BBC World Service and Radio Nigeria. Her second novel, On Black Sisters' Street, is now available in the U.S.

One of her six favorite books, as told to The Week magazine:
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

A great introduction to literature that takes in all the great themes: love and lust, commitment and betrayal, life and death. The writing is beautiful. I have never read a more elegant account of a woman throwing herself into the path of a train.
Read about the other books on the list.

Anna Karenina also appears on Eleanor Birne's top ten list of books on motherhood, Esther Freud's list top ten list of love stories, Elizabeth Kostova's list of favorite books, James Gray's list of best books, Marie Arana's list of the best books about love, Ha Jin's most important books list, Tom Perrotta's ten favorite books list, Claire Messud's list of her five most important books, Alexander McCall Smith's list of his five most important books, Mohsin Hamid's list of his ten favorite books, Louis Begley's list of favorite novels about cheating lovers, and among the top ten works of literature according to Peter Carey and Norman Mailer. John Mullan put it on his lists of ten of the best births in literature, ten of the best ice-skating episodes in literature, and ten of the best balls in literature.

Chika Unigwe's On Black Sisters' Street is one of E. C. Osondu's top ten immigrants' tales.

--Marshal Zeringue