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  • Librarian: Marion Frank-Wilson
  • Location: Herman B Wells Library E660
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Libraries & Subjects
last updated: 10/31/2011

Onitsha Market Literature: Secondary Sources

Most of the resources listed below have been taken from the guide to the literature published by the British Library in 1990, Market Literature from Nigeria: A Checklist, edited by Hogg and Sternberg. Although somewhat out of date, it remains an extremely thorough and helpful starting-point to this topic and should be consulted by interested students. Indiana University Wells Library call numbers have been provided, if available.


Anafulu, Joseph C. "Igbo Life and Art." The Conch 3.2 (1971): 181-204.
PL8000 .C74

---. The Igbo-Speaking Peoples of Nigeria. 1981, pp. 137-149.
Z3597 .A73

---. "Onitsha Market Literature: Dead or Alive?" Research in African Literatures 4.2 (1973): 165-71.
PL8000 .R43

Ayers, Peter K. "Ogali A. Ogali." World Literature Written in English 18.1 (1979): 99-113.
PN2 .W927

Ballard, W. L. Essays on African Literature. Atlanta: School of Arts and Sciences, Georgia State University, 1973. pp.175-91.
Not at IU.

Barber, K. "Popular Arts in Africa." African Studies Review 30.3 (1987): 1-78.
DT1 .A17

Beier, Ulli. "Public Opinion on Lovers." Black Orpheus 14 (1964): 4-16.
PL8011 .A1 B6

Bello, Sule and Abdullahi R. Augi, eds. Culture and the Book Industry in Nigeria. Lagos: National Council for Arts and Culture, 1993.
Z470 .N6 N3

Bordinat, Philip. "Dramatic Potential Among the Ibos." Journal of Popular Culture 4 (1971): 691-704.
HM101 .A1 J86

Böttcher, Rita. "Onitsha-Marktliteratur." Afrika und √úbersee 57.3 (1974): 201-209.
PL8000 .A25

Buckman, Thomas. "Bookstalls in an African Market: Onitsha, Eastern Nigeria." Books and Libraries at the University of Kansas 4.2 (1966): 1-2.
Z675 .U5 B72

Chukukere, Gloria Chineze. Gender Voices and Choices: Redefining Women in Contemporary African Fiction. Enugu: Fourth Dimension Publishers, 1995.
PR9344 .C495 1995

Collins, Harold Reeves. The New English of the Onitsha Chapbooks. Athens, Ohio: Ohio University Center for International Studies, 1968.
PR972 .C698

Cosentino, Donald J. "The Onitsha Heroine." Ba Shiru 2.1-2 (1970-71): 52-62.
DT1 .B12

Coulon, V. "Onitsha Goes National: Nigerian Writing in Macmillan's Pacesetter Series." Research in African Literatures 18.3 (1987): 304-319.
PL8000 .R43 (also available electronically)

de Benko, Eugene. "Onitsha Market Literature in the Michigan State University Library." African Urban Notes 2.2 (1967): 12-14.
HT148 .A1 A25

Dodson, Don. Onitsha Pamphlets: Culture in the Marketplace. Madison: University of Wisconsin, 1974. Ph.D. dissertation.
Not at IU.

---. "The Role of the Publisher in Onitsha Market Literature." Research in African Literatures 4.2 (1973): 172-188.
PL8000 .R43

Dodson, Don and Barbara Dodson. "Publishing Progress in Nigeria." Scholarly Publishing 4 (1972): 61-72.
Z284 .S36

Echeruo, Michael J. C. "Incidental Fiction in Nigeria." The African Writer 1.1 (1962):10-11, 18.
Not at IU.

Emenyonu, Ernest N. The Rise of the Igbo Novel. Ibadan: Oxford University Press, 1978. pp. 60-89.
PL8261.5 E54 1978

Fordyce, A. J. "The Catnachs of West Africa." Library Review 22 (1970): 367-369.
Z671 .L664

Granqvist, Raoul, ed. Signs & Signals: Popular Culture in Africa. Umea, Sweden: University of Umea Press, 1990. pp. 173-81.
DT14 .S53 1990

Haruna, Matthew. "A Critical Analysis of the Speeches of Chief Jombo, Bomber Billy and Mike in the Play Veronica My Daughter." Kuka 1980-81: 1-6.
PR9340 .A35

Herdeck, Donald Elmer. African Authors. Washington: Black Orpheus Press, 1973.
PL8010 .H542 (in both Reference and stacks)

Heywood, Christopher, ed. Perspectives on African Literature. New York: Africana Pub. Corp., 1971. pp. 106-116.
PL8010 .C748 1968

Hogg, Peter and Ilse Sternberg, eds. Market Literature from Nigeria: A Checklist. London: The British Library, 1990.
Z3597 .M37 1990

Ikpoto, Grey. "The Field of Authorship." The Nigerian Author Magazine 1 (1962): 7.
Not at IU.

Kuene, D. "African Vernacular Writing: An Essay in Self-Devaluation." African Social Research 9 (1970).
DT1 .A166

Larson, Charles R. "The Kennedy Myth in Nigeria." Colorado Quarterly 16.1 (1967): 39-45.
PN2 .C72

---. The Emergence of African Fiction. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1972. pp. 66-92.
PR9340 .L339

---. The Ordeal of the African Writer. London: Zed Books, 2001.
PR9340 .L37 2001

Lindfors, Bernth. "Additions and Corrections to Janheinz Jahn's 'Bibliography of Neo-African Literature' (1965)." African Studies Bulletin 11.2 (1968): 129-148.
DT1 .A17

---. "African Vernacular Styles in Nigerian Fiction." CLA Journal 9 (1966): 265-273.
P1 .A1 C5

---. Black African Literature in English: a Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale Research Co., 1979.
Z3508 .L5 L56 (in Reference)

---. "A Checklist of Prewar Nigerian Chapbook Fiction and Poetry in English." African Journal 11.1-2 (1980): 53-63.
Z3503 .A258

---, ed. Critical Perspectives on Nigerian Literatures. Washington: Three Continents Press, 1976. pp. 194-211.
PL8014 .N6 C7

---. Folklore in Nigerian Literature. New York: Africana Pub. Co., 1973.
PR9387.1 .L746

---. "Heroes and Hero Worship in Nigerian Chapbooks." Journal of Popular Culture 1 (1967): 1-20.
HM101 .A1 J86

---. "Nigerian Chapbook Heroines." Journal of Popular Culture 2.3 (1968): 441-450.
HM101 .A1 J86

---. "Perverted Proverbs in Nigerian Chapbooks." Proverbium 15 (1970): 482-487.
PN6404 .P96

---. "Popular Literature for an African Elite." Journal of Modern African Studies 12.3 (1974): 471-86.
DT1 .J93

---. "Postwar popular literature in Nigeria." Okike 9 (1975): 52-64.
PR9387.45 .O41

---. "A Preliminary Checklist of Nigerian Biographical and Autobiographical Chapbooks in English." African Urban Notes, Bibliographical Supp. 4 (1967): 1-13.
HT148 .A1 A251

---. "A Preliminary Checklist of Nigerian Drama in English." Afro-Asian Theatre Bulletin 2.2 (): 16-21; 3.1 (1967): 22-25.
PN2016 .A183

---. "The Rise of African Pornography." Transition 42 (1973): 65-71.
PL8000 .T77

---. "Shakespeare and Nigerian Drama." Actes du Vie Congrés de l'Association Internationale de Littérature Comparée. Stuttgart: Bieber, 1975. pp. 639-641.
Not at IU.

Mezu, S. Okechukwu, "The Cradles of Modern African Writing: a Case Study of the Igbo Market Literature." The Conch 2.1 (1970): 3-11.
Not at IU.

---, ed. Igbo Market Literature. 5 volumes. Buffalo, NY: Black Academy Press, 1972.
PR9387.8 .P7 M63

Mgbakor, T. D. The Onitsha Pamphlets. Ibadan, 1966. Cert. Ed. dissertation.
Not at IU.

Middleton, John, ed. Black Africa: its Peoples and their Cultures Today. New York: Macmillan, 1970. pp. 174-180.
DT351 .M628

Newell, Stephanie. "From the Brink of Oblivion: the Anxious Masculinism of Nigerian Market Literatures." Research in African Literatures 27.3 (1996): 50-67.
PL8000 .R43

---. "Petrified Masculinities? Contemporary Nigerian Popular Literature by Men." Journal of Popular Culture. 30.4 (1997): 161-82.
HM101 .A1 J86

---, ed. Readings in African Popular Fiction. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2002.
PL8010.6 .R43

Nitecki, André. Onitsha Publications. Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse University, 1967.
Z3553 .N5 N37

Nkala, Nathan O. "Literature for the Masses." Renaissance 4 (1971): 21.
Not at IU.

Nwanodi, Glory O. "The Menace of Pamphlets." Educator 4 (1964): 21-22.
Not at IU.

Nwawume, Veronica. "Never Trust All You Read, or, How Many Grammatical Errors Make a Comedy?" Something 5 (1966): 65-67.
Not at IU.

Nwoga, Donatus Ibe. "Onitsha Market Literature." Transition 19 (1965): 26-33.
PL8000 .T77

Obeichina, Emmanuel N. An African Popular Literature: A Study of Onitsha Market Pamphlets. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1973.
PR9387.85 .O5 O13

---. Literature for the Masses: An Analytical Study of Popular Pamphleteering in Nigeria. Enugu, Nigeria: Nwankwo-Ifejika, 1971.
PR9387.1 .O124

---. Onitsha Market Literature. New York: Africana Pub. Corp., 1972.
PR9387.8 .P7 O12

Ogali, Ogali A. Veronica My Daughter and Other Onitsha Market Plays and Stories. Washington, D.C.: Three Continents Press, 1980.
PR9387.9 .O34 V4

Okpaku, Joseph Ohiomogben, ed. New African Literature and the Arts. 3 volumes. New York: Crowell, 1970-73. Vol. 2, pp. 25-38, 66-71.
PL8010 .N465

"Onitsha Market." Nigeria Trade Journal 5.3 (1957): 88-91.
HF3931 .A33

Onyemelukwe, J. O. C. "Some Factors in the Growth of West African Market Towns: the Example of Pre-Civil War Onitsha, Nigeria." Urban Studies 11.1 (1974): 47-60.
HT101. U72

Ottah, Nelson. "That Dr. Obiechina's Literary Gold-brick." New Nigerian 29 April 1971: 8.
Not at IU.

Pearson, J. D. and R. Jones, eds. The Bibliography of Africa. London: Cass, 1970. pp. 223-239.
Z1008 .I615

Petersen, Kirsten Holst and Anna Rutherford, eds. Cowries and Kobos: The West African Oral Tale and Short Story. Mundelstrup, Denmark: Dangaroo Press, 1981. pp.47-50.
GR350.3 .C688 1981

Post, K. W. J., "Nigerian Pamphleteers and the Congo." Journal of Modern African Studies 2.3 (1964): 405-418.
DT1 .J93

Press, John, ed. Commonwealth Literature: Unity and Diversity in a Common Culture. London: Heinemann, 1965. pp. 144-150.
PE13. C74 1964

Reed, J. O. "Africa's Market Literature." Nation 196.3 (1963): 509-510.
AP2 .N2

---. "Chapbooks on the Market." Central African Examiner 6.8 (1963): 22-23.
DT850 .C39

Roscoe, Adrian A. Mother is Gold: a Study in West African Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1971. pp. 143-154.
PR9408 .W45 R79

Sander, Reinhard W. "A Checklist of Works by Nigerian Popular Writer Ogali A. Ogali." Research in African Literatures 9.3 (1978): 445-448.
PL8000 .R43

Schmidt, Nancy J. An Anthropological Analysis of Nigerian Fiction. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University, 1965. Ph.D. dissertation.
PR 64 (on microfilm)

---. "Nigeria: Fiction for the Average Man." Africa Report 10.8 (1965): 39-41.
DT1 .A146

---. "Nigerian Chapbook Heroines: a Reply to Bernth Lindfors." Journal of Popular Culture 2 (1968): 451-456.
HM101 .A1 J86

Shelton, Austin J. "The Articulation of Traditional and Modern in Igbo Literature." The Conch 1.1 (1969): 30-52.
Not at IU.

Sullivan, Joanna. "The Question of a National Literature for Nigeria." Research in African Literatures 32.3 (2001): 71-85.
PL8000 .R43

Thometz, Kurt. Life Turns Man Up and Down: High Life, Useful Advice and Mad English: African Market Literature. New York: Pantheon, 2001.
PR9387.5 .L54 2001

Thorpe, Michael. "English in Nigeria." Literary Half Yearly 11.1 (1970): 39-52.
PR9494 .L776

Ulansky, G. "Caesar Crosses the River Niger: Shakespeare and the Onitsha Market Chapbooks." Journal of the New African Literature and the Arts 4 (1968).
PL8010 .J86

W., D. "Onitsha Pamphleteers." West Africa 2931 (13 Aug. 1973): 1113-14.
DT491 .W52

Wauthier, Claude. "Littérature et 'sous-littérature'." Jeune-Afrique 11 March 1972: 70.
AP27 .A25

"West Africa's Largest Market." Nigeria Magazine 65 (1960): 133-147.
DT515 .N42

Williams, Gavin, ed. Nigeria: Economy and Society. London: Collings, 1976.
HC517 .N48 N483

"Writing in West Africa." Times Literary Supplement 10 Aug., 1962: 570-71.
Z2034 .T5

Young, Peter. "A Note from Onitsha." Bulletin of the Association for African Literature in English 4 (1966): 37-40.
PL8000 .A848

Zell, Hans. "Publishing in West Africa: Producing Books Against the Odds." West Africa 3241 (1979): 1553-56.
J805 .N15


  • Onitsha Market Literature: From the Bookstalls of a Nigerian Market.
    Website of the Onitsha Collection in the Spencer Research Library at the University of Kansas.

  • Contemporary African Database [Archived]
    The database (developed by The Africa Centre, London, 2001-2006) is no longer available except in archived versions.

  • Innocent, O. Okoro. "From Onitsha Market Literature to General Trade Book Publishing in Nigeria."

  • Ku-Mesu, Katalin Egri. "African Literature Survival Outside the Realm of Large World Publishers: Illusion or Reality?"

  • Larson, Charles. "Cyprian Ekwensi."

  • McCarthy, Cavan Michael. "Printing in Onitsha: Some Personal Observations on the Production of Nigerian Market Literature."

  • Thometz, Kurt. "Bill French & Onitsha Market Literature: Afterword to 'Life Turns Man Up and Down.'"
    • last updated: 10/31/2011