New Book from Stockholm University Press: Invoking Flora Nwapa

Download the book at Stockholm University Press

About the book

This new book is written by Paula Uimonen and explores the revival of Flora Nwapa’s fame as the pioneer of African women’s literature, based on fieldwork at the Efuru@50 celebration in Nigeria. It is written in an experimental style, and shows how literary worldmaking creates possible worlds of human, spiritual and environmental coexistence.

Paula Uimonen, professor at Stockholm University, is specialized in digital anthropology and the anthropology of art, globalization, visual culture and world literature. Her most recent research focuses on women writers in Nigeria and Tanzania, as part of the research program Cosmopolitan and Vernacular Dynamics in World Literatures (2016-2021).

Paula Uimonen, who is Flora Nwapa and why is it important to
write a book about her?
Flora Nwapa (1931-1993) was the first internationally published female African writer in English and she was also the first female publisher in Africa. Despite her pioneering achievements, Flora Nwapa has been relatively invisible in literary history and world literature canons, as has been the case for many other women writers around the world. This book captures the revival of Flora Nwapa’s literary legacy and the expansion of her fame, from the Efuru@50 literary festival in Nigeria to online digital incarnations. It shows the continued significance of her literary work, which deserves to be acknowledged alongside well known Nigerian writers like Chinua Achebe and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.   

This book is described as “exploring experimental ethnographic writing”, could you explain more about what you mean by that?
Invoking Flora Nwapa combines the genres of travel writing, descriptive ethnography and theoretical analysis. This experimental form of ethnographic writing, which explores creative non-fiction as a complement to academic writing styles, makes the book more accessible to a wider audience of academic as well as non-academic readers. This is also why the book is published in open access, so that readers around the world can download it for free and immerse themselves in the inspiring aesthetic worlds of African women writers.

This book is aimed at a wide readership, including scholars interested in ethnographic methods as well as a more general audience interested in literary studies and world literature. What do you think this book will add in relation to the existing literature on the topic?
By bringing forth Nigerian women writers, this book addresses the gender gap in world literature studies, while its ethnographic approach makes a substantial contribution to the nascent field of anthropology of world literature. Analyzed through the lens of African womanism, the central themes of femininity and spirituality offer new insights into literary worldmaking, especially the cultural significance of the female water deity the Lake Goddess, whose motherly care and healing power can inspire our efforts to build a better world for all beings.   

Anthropology & Society

 Invoking Flora Nwapa is a volume of Anthropology & Society, a peer-reviewed series of monographs and edited volumes published by Stockholm University Press.

How to access this book

At the Stockholm University Press website you can download an ePub or pdf-file that allows you to read the book online or access it on multiple devices. You may also also order a print copy of the book through the DOI-link:

About the publisher Stockholm University Press

Stockholm University Press is an open access publisher of peer-reviewed academic journals and books. We aim to make journals and books affordable, and to give them the widest possible dissemination, so that researchers around the world can find and access the information they need without barriers.

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