Nigerian novelist, born near Lagos, the daughter of a railway porter. She left her home country at the age of 20 with four small children and moved to London, where she studied sociology at the University of London. Her first novel, In the Ditch (1972), and its sequel, Second‐Class Citizen (1974), were based on articles written for the New Statesman. Both were published in one volume as Adah's Story (1983). Succeeding novels, The Bride Price (1976), The Slave Girl (1977), and The Joys of Motherhood (1979), dealt with the position of women in Nigerian society. In 1980 she returned to Nigeria as a visiting professor at Calabar University. Gwendolen (1989) focuses on the subject of child abuse and cultural isolation. Later novels include Kehinde (1994) and The New Tribe (2000). She has also written children's books and plays for television. Her autobiography, Head Above Water, was published in 1986. See also Post‐Colonial Literature.