Read It Again Bookstore is very excited to welcome award-winning author, Chika Unigwe! Join us on Saturday, Oct 7th from 12 to 2 to meet Chika and pick up a copy of her latest book, The Middle Daughter.
The Middle Daughter
A lush, powerful tale of family and sisterhood from award-winning author Chika Unigwe, perfect for fans of Bernardine Evaristo and Tayari Jones
Udodi's death was the beginning of the raging storm but at that moment, we thought that the worst had already happened and that life would treat us with more kindness.
When seventeen-year-old Nani loses her older sister and then her father in quick succession, her world spins off its axis. Isolated and misunderstood by her grieving mother and sister, she's drawn to an itinerant preacher, a handsome self-proclaimed man of God who offers her a new place to belong. All too soon, Nani finds herself estranged from her family, tethered to her abusive husband by children she loves but cannot fully comprehend. She must find the courage to break free and wrestle her life back--without losing what she loves most.
A modern reimagining of the myth of Hades and Persephone within a Nigerian family, The Middle Daughter charts Nani's journey to freedom and homecoming.
Chika Unigwe was born on 12 June 1974 in Enugu, Nigeria, the sixth of seven children. After completing her secondary school education at Federal Government Girls’ College, Abuja, she went on to earn a BA in English at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, in 1995.
That same year, following her marriage to a Belgian engineer, Chika moved to Turnhout in Flanders, Belgium’s Dutch-speaking region. The couple have had four children.
In 1996, she obtained an MA in English from the Catholic University of Leuven (KUL), and then earned a PhD from the University of Leiden, The Netherlands, in 2004, for her dissertation entitled “In the Shadow of Ala: Igbo Women Writing as an Act of Righting”.
Chika spent two years in Seattle from 2000 to 2002, but otherwise resided in Belgium until 2013. During that time, she pursued her writing career, but also engaged in other activities, such as sitting on the Turnhout town council, and teaching Flemish to immigrants. In 2013, she moved to the Atlanta area in the USA.
Chika is the Creative Director of the Awele Creative Trust, and she was a judge for the Man Booker International Prize in 2016. In 2016-2017, she was Bonderman Professor of Creative Writing at Brown University, Providence RI, USA, and then went on to lecture in creative writing at Emory University, GA. In 2020-2021, she will be joining Georgia College and State University's MFA in Creative Writing as a core faculty member.
Over the years, Chika has received many prestigious awards and distinctions. A selection of these include:
- Winner of the 2003 BBC Short Story Competition for the short story “Borrowed Smile”
- Nominated for the 2004 Caine Prize for African writing, for the short story “The Secret”
- Winner of the 2012 NLNG Prize for Literature, for the novel On Black Sisters’ Street
She has also been the recipient of many fellowships, including the following:
- 2007 Unesco-Aschberg Fellowship for creative writing
- 2009 Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship (Bellagio Centre, Italy)
- 2011 HALD Fellowship (HALD Centre, Denmark)
- 2011 and 2016 Writing Fellowship at the Ledig House (Omi NY, USA)
- 2013 Writing Fellowing at Cove Park (Scotland)
- 2014 Writer-in-Residence, Haverford College (Philadelphia PA, USA)
- 2014 Sylt Fellowship for African Writers