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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Second Class Citizen by Buchi Emecheta. A poignant story of a resourceful Nigerian woman who overcomes strict tribal domination of women and countless setbacks to achieve an independent life for herself and her children.
Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published February 17th by George Braziller Inc. More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Second Class Citizen , please sign up. See all 16 questions about Second Class Citizen…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order.
Start your review of Second Class Citizen. May 18, Sean Meriwether rated it really liked it Shelves: memoir , african-authors. One wants to reach through the pages and shake this obviously intelligent woman and make her stand up on her own.
Her upbringing in Africa has taught her that women are second class and do not matter as much as their husbands, they are only to take care of the home and have as many children as possible. Emecheta is an author who has been an inspiration to me; not only was she living in a foreign country raising five children and acting as the sole support for her family, but she still managed to have a career and write prolifically.
View 1 comment. Mar 26, Ashley rated it really liked it. Second Class Citizen really affected me. Whilst some cultural references bewildered me when I read its first few chapters because of my detachment from the Nigerian culture, the book hooked me right through. I loved and respected Adah for both her flaws and her strength in character; she is strong, naive, contradictory and honestly reflective and I could relate to her.
I could not imagine what my life would be if I were Adah. Reading the book made me feel grateful for all the privileges I had. I Second Class Citizen really affected me. It was heartbreaking for me to read about a young woman of about my age I am 22 struggling to educate herself, to bring up her five children and to deal with a parasitic, manipulative and abusive husband So my responses to the book were, 'Wow! The time it takes for a normal human being to mature completely is something that is still very relative and sometimes, can feel like a mirage.
Growing up mentally is a tedious process, more for the body, the physical self, that becomes accustomed to its surrounding. The world outside is strange and weird, full of soul-crushing impediments. Crushed by her own bigger family since an early age, her willingness to learn ne The time it takes for a normal human being to mature completely is something that is still very relative and sometimes, can feel like a mirage.
Crushed by her own bigger family since an early age, her willingness to learn never fades. Nothing vouchsafes strength and power more than African women writers. This semi-autobiographical work emaciates the gap that is present between what we know and why we think it happens.
Mar 22, Ester rated it liked it Shelves: historical-fiction. Very interesting but sad book. I found it hard to put down. However, I found that plot picked up too fast at the end, with too many events happening in the last few chapters. The ending I found unsatisfactory - there needs to be a sequel, otherwise the book just feels incomplete. Dec 30, Sarah Anne rated it really liked it. I got Israel, my boyfriend got Nigeria.
Second Class Citizen was my Christmas Eve book! Buchi Emecheta is considered by many to be the a "pioneer among female Afric "She, who only a few months previously would have accepted nothing but the best, had by now been conditioned to accept inferior things. Buchi Emecheta is considered by many to be the a "pioneer among female African writers. Writers such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie have spoken of their admiration for Emecheta.
She died in January I, rather shamefully, had never heard of Emecheta until I read this book. I'll be making an effort to read more of her stuff from now on. Second Class Citizen is semi-autobiographical. It tells the story of Adah, a Nigerian woman who comes to the UK to seek a new a life. It's the s and her illusions are shattered pretty quickly when she's confronted with the racism and classism of s England.
On top of that she has to deal with her abusive husband who regards Adah's thirst for independence as something shameful. The parallels with Emecheta's life are obvious. This is a sad but brilliant book that's still relevant in even though it was published in the s.
Adah is a brilliant character and I wish Emecheta had written more about her. There are moments when you literally want to climb inside the book and fight on her behalf. Mar 26, Aubrey rated it it was ok Shelves: person-of-reality , 2-star , reality-check , r , person-of-everything , shorty-short , 1-read-on-hand , antidote-think-twice-all , antidote-think-twice-read , r-goodreads.
I picked up a copy of this book because of my regularly refreshed familiarity with the contents of Great Books By Women. I have also seen Emecheta's name crop up in other officiated channels, and the generally positive reviews reassured me that this particular acting on a whim had a good chance of being worth it. However, I'm not longer at the stage where I need a bare bones anthropology narrative regarding a mid 20th century Nigerian's time in jolly old England, and Emechta's story, however I picked up a copy of this book because of my regularly refreshed familiarity with the contents of Great Books By Women.
However, I'm not longer at the stage where I need a bare bones anthropology narrative regarding a mid 20th century Nigerian's time in jolly old England, and Emechta's story, however tortuous, built up to a certain degree, stagnated, and then ended on a veritable cliffhanger where a reader couldn't really believe anything would change.
I've read and found magnificent other crushing narratives, but those always had an extra bit of something to them, whether rhetorical oomph or gripping imagery, and this, barring a few surreal runs of events three quarters of the way in and just before the end, never really got past an almost dry litany of a person's life and choices and resulting misfortunes, albeit in a combination of character and country that I don't encounter much in my reading.
For whatever reason, I was not inspired, and whether this is due to my own cynicism or understanding that such enthusiasm does little good in the long run remains to be seen. The best part of this work was when Adah was a gangling child wrangling with life and death and education until she had the means the vision of her future to seeming fruition.
Once her penultimate goal of expatriation was achieved, all of that went and stayed downhill for pretty much the rest of the narrative. While there was a brief burst of interesting material near the end, especially with the mentions of Nwapa and Baldwin, it was a story I'd heard before in a less than novel guise, and it grew onerous, despite the text's brevity, to continue on for so long in predictably agonizing circumstances.
As said previously, it all ends so abruptly that one isn't left with much, if any, sense of closure, and with a narrative this short, it's almost vital to have something of that sort before moving on. Longer narratives can sometimes both benefit and suffer from a reader waiting for it to be over, but a novella is best as a brief yet pithy punctuation mark, and this dragged and then barely gave any sense of follow through.
I understand that this is autobiographical, but I still feel I've read this narrative elsewhere in a more engaging format, and there are no quotes or notable events that bubble to mind to convince me otherwise. This wasn't the most fortuitously spontaneous GBBW pick up, but I've had too many rewarding experiences with the directory to start hesitating now. As such, this is not the book for me, but it has a good chance of being the book for other,s so I will be glad to send it on its way to a possibly fortunate college student my copy has a used textbook sticker on its spine.
Looking back at the year thus far, I've either rounded or am rapidly approaching the curve of halfway through my challenge reads, and I'm looking forward to engaging with two group reads next month that happen to be concerned with two as of yet so far unread challenge books. For now, though, I have another book selection to ferret out that, hopefully, will make for an experience that fits in better with its rave reviews.
Mar 19, Marie Ainomugisha rated it it was amazing. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Second-Class Citizen covers surprising topics for its era. This theme carries the book. What worship looked like to Adah and her relatives back in Nigeria transitions into a new worship when Adah and her children arrive in London and continues to transition as Francis takes to being a JW devotee.
Jun 10, Doreen rated it really liked it. Second Class Citizen refers not only to Adah's status as a Nigerian immigrant in s England but also as a woman in a traditional culture who refuses to comply with conventional gender roles.
Second-class Citizen. Buchi Emecheta. She soon discovers that life for a young Nigerian woman living in London in the s is grim. Rejected by British society and thwarted by her husband, who expects her to be subservient to him, she is forced to face up to life as a second-class citizen. Escape into Elitism. The Daily Minders. An Expensive Lesson.
Second Class Citizen
It was subsequently published in the US by George Braziller in She dreams as a young girl of moving to the United Kingdom. After her father dies, Adah is sent to live with her uncle's family. She is able to stay in school in Nigeria and attains employment working for the British embassy as a library clerk.
Although life initially seems rosy for Adah, things turn sour when it becomes clear that Francis is physically and emotionally abusive. When I was in high school I came across this book by chance; it was in a box full of books the teachers said we could take for free. The main reason I picked the book was because I noticed that the writer was Nigerian and of Igbo descent. Later on, I gave a presentation on it because there were no books by a black woman on our English Literature syllabus. After the presentation I asked if the book could be added and although the teacher was encouraging, my classmates were not. I think it was quite different to what they were used to — most of my classmates were white British.