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3 great books for visitors to Nigeria

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Nigeria is generally considered the giant of Africa and as such, thousands of people visit the country either on business or leisure. However, a large percentage of its visitors do not have adequate information on the dynamics of the society or the lifestyle of its inhabitants.

As a land endowed with rich cultures, stunning artistry and a resourceful people, it is essential that first-timers have a fairly balanced view of the intricacies of the destination they plan to visit. Jovago.com, Africa’s No. 1 online hotel booking site therefore offers 3 contemporary books that reveal Nigeria in a modern and objective light. As a traveler these books will really challenge your  view and broaden your horizons about the green nation – Nigeria.

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Looking for Transwonderland

A memoir published in 2012 by Noo Saro-Wiwa – daughter of the murdered environmental and political activist, Ken Saro-Wiwa – who establishes herself as a pioneer of contemporary travel writing in Nigeria and Africa, the book Looking for Transwonderland tells a poignant and witty story of her return from England, the country within which she had found refuge after the gruesome death of her father. No doubt the book gives an unusual insight on Nigeria as the author is as intimate with the country as she is familiar with its society. From Lagos  to other locations across Nigeria, her roaming explores family history and gives an honest account of contemporary Nigeria.

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Open City by Teju Cole

Open City is a meditation on history and culture, identity and solitude. Written in 2011, the novel centers on the inner thoughts of a Nigerian immigrant Julius, a young graduate student studying Psychiatry in New York City, who recently broke up with his girlfriend and spends most of his time dreamily walking around Manhattan. He eventually meets a young Nigerian woman who profoundly changes the way he sees himself.

While the novel is more about New York than Nigeria, the protagonist’s character shows a ‘shifting’ attitude to a Nigerian upbringing in the flashbacks to his Nigerian childhood. The book is a piece about Nigeria from the diaspora and reflects its place in the world at large.

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Americanah

A book by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie,  the award-winning author of Half of a Yellow Sun,  Americanah is a richly told story set in today’s globalized world. The contemporary fiction tells the story of love and race as it concerns a young man and woman- Obinze and Ifemelu- from Nigeria who are challenged with difficulties that stem from the choices they are forced to make in the countries they come to call home.  Spanning three continents and numerous lives, the story is gripping and very illuminating.

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