Stephen Buoro: The Joys of Motherhood

Stephen Buoro is an author who received the Booker Prize Foundation Scholarship while completing an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. His debut novel The Five Sorrowful Mysteries of Andy Africa was released April 2023, for which he became an Observer Debut Novelist for 2023. Stephen was also a judge for this year’s The Pleasure of Reading Prize.

The Joys of Motherhood by Buchi Emecheta explores the challenges of womanhood and motherhood in Nigeria. Set mostly between 1930s and 1940s Lagos, it follows Nnu Ego as she confronts the ingrained sexism and misogyny of her society.

I loved the novel the first time I read it, about fifteen years ago as a teenager. I re-read it recently, and it was both delightful and devastating, told with sublime subtlety and control. Sadly, I’ll never fully grasp what it’s like to be a mother. Thankfully, the book gifted me rubies of experience, helped me to interrogate myself and my community. In its unique way, it helped me to understand my own mother a little better.

Thank you, Stephen, for choosing this book!

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Photo Credit: Andrew Kahumbu


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