Year 2021 and Flurry of New Books in Awka —A Concise Perusal

Year 2021 and Flurry of New Books in Awka —A Concise Perusal

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By Izunna Okafor, Awka

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Awka the capital city of Anambra State is gradually becoming a capital of new books, considering the uncommon number of new books that sprout from authors in the capital city, almost biweekly.

Although authors releasing new books in Anambra State may no longer be surprising to many or even be news at all, because the state has, for decades, been reputed as the headquarters of writers and creative writing in Africa. However, the rate at which new books are now steadily released by authors in the state's capital is noteworthy and newsworthy. Also noteworthy is the fact that some of these authors are new authors while some are established authors, showing that as aspiring authors are coming into the system, the established ones are still going higher and digging deeper; and there is no room for complacency at all.

One may rightly argue that these authors' exploits in the literary field and their new releases are in tandem with or in pursuance of Toni Morrison's age-long maxim, which says "If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." In other words, this is another way to say that literary arts is thriving and bubbling in Awka, since reading and writing are basic elements of literary arts.

The year, 2021, is still in its 3rd quarter, 7th month and 32nd week, but not fewer than 18 books have been published/released/presented in Awka by these authors, showing that almost each quarter and each month so far spent in the year was greeted with new books, at least biweekly.

Some of these new books so far released/presented by these authors include: 'Communication and Media Studies: Multiple Perspectives' by Stella Okunna; 'Homeland Catalysis: More Than Just Anambra Narratives', 'Mbize: Rage of Red Earth in Igbo Land', and 'Nigeria Civil War (1967 — 1970): Holes in Our Bubbles' all by Chuka Nnabuife; 'Governor Willie Obiano: 7 Years of Delivering Good Governance in Anambra State, 2014 – 2021' by Uche Nworah and Emeka Arinze; 'The Writer in the Mirror' on Akachi Adimora-Ezeigbo; 'The Malady and the Remedy' (an international essay anthology on human rights abuse in Africa) by Izunna Okafor; 'Love in Love' by Izunna Okafor; 'Abuse of Right' by Blessing Chinenye David.

Continuing, the list includes: 'Heart of the Brave' by Anthony Ughenu; 'Crows of the Yellow Stream' by Odili Ujubuoñu; 'Ties That Bind' by Stanley Umezulike; 'Dominate: The Practical Formula to Building a Profitable Writing Career on Social Media' by Stanley Umezulike; 'Start-up Kit for Fiction Writers: Learn the Basics That Will Help You Improve Your Writing Craft' by Stanley Umezulike; 'Dear Teen: 20 Things Every Teen Should Know Before 20' by Louis Akwaeze; 'Writing Right: Mastering the Art of Creating World With Words' by Louis Akwaeze, 'Contemporary Issues on COVID-19 Experiences in Nigeria' by N. M. Umenweke et al; 'The Eden in Nigeria' by Franklin I. Diala, among other new books.

Notwithstanding the quality and regularity of these authors' releases, it is also noteworthy that the quality of the contents has never in any way been undermined or sabotaged, judging from comprehensive peeps into the books. The reviews of these books by local, foreign and erstwhile  authors and reviewers have also testified of their qualities in the international literary benchmark and standard. The regularity, the quantity and the quality of the books make everything noteworthy and newsworthy.

Reacting to the development, Uzor Maxim Uzoatu, author of the newly published book of creative nonfiction 'How Not To Be A Nigerian' said, "There is a cultural spring blooming in Awka. Books, art exhibitions, poetry readings are all the rage. It is not surprising given the large number of creative minds operating out of Awka today. Of course the book publications and launches are indeed phenomenal. It's such a joy living in these interesting times of the power of the printed word."