World Book Day Recommendations: “Five Books I Love” — Hauwa Shaffii Nuhu
For World Book Day, 2021 and #365DaysOfBookOclock, we asked Nigerian poet and essayist, Hauwa Shaffii Nuhu to share with us five books that has either shaped her writing or she generally loves.
Hauwa Shaffii Nuhu is a poet and essayist from Nigeria with work published on Ake Review, Popula, Jalada Africa, Lolwe, After the Pause journal, The Bitter Oleander, The Republic and elsewhere. She’s a 2018 fellow of Ebedi Writers Residency. Her chapbook of poetry has been selected by the African Poetry Book Fund, in collaboration with Akashic Books, for the 2021 New Generation African Poets chapbook box set. She writes from Minna.
1. The Friend by Sigrid Nunez
I am grateful for this book because it showed me the many possibilities present within tenderness as a site of creating: writing from and to tenderness— not the story now, but the language and air surrounding it. It was an intense novel that managed to sit in gentleness.
2. The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
This book gave me a glimpse into what was perhaps the kind of writing I aspired to. It was prose that was so unhurried, and yet so sure of where it was going.
3. The January Children by Safia Elhillo
This collection of poetry showed me that the only kind of poetry I should be writing is exactly the kind of poetry I want to be writing. It used language in a way that was inventive, that did exactly what it wanted to do.
4. Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
This little book explored all the uncomfortable angles of relationships and love, the ability for love to evolve into something just as valid and solid.
5. Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
It helped me navigate my own teenage-hood. Or maybe it just helped me look back at my teenage-hood with a bit more context and compassion for myself.
Book O’Clock WBD Recommendations is a series of book recommendations made by African contemporary writers for World Book Day, 2021 and Book O’Clock’s anniversary.