Ernest Emenyonu

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Ernest Nneji Emenyonu is a Nigerian academic and prolific writer who has written on biographical and literary themes.

He wrote a biographical and literary descriptive book on Cyprian Ekwensi where he made a case for Ekwensi's role as a pioneer of modern Nigeria literature. He is also the author of another book, 'Studies of the Nigerian Novel' which is a compilation of some essays he had written. However, a critic of the book, lamented Emenyonu of making blanket statements. (1)


Emenyonu was born on November 1, 1939 in Mbieri. He was educated at C.M.S. Central School, Mbieri, the Preliminary Teacher Training College, Egbu and the University of Nigeria. From 1967-1972, he attended Columbia University, University of London and the University of Wisconsin. He completed his PhD at Wisconsin where his dissertation was the development of Modern Igbo Fiction: 1857-1966. The thesis was later a foundation of a book he wrote, 'The Rise of the Igbo Novel". In the mid 1970s, he was was a English lecturer at Alvan Ikoku College of Education and later served as professor of English and Literary studies at the University of Calabar where he was head of department, Dean of Arts and deputy vice chancellor.

He is married to Patricia thorton Emenyonu and has served as editor of the Africa Literature Today.

Selected works

  • The Rise of the Igbo Novel. ISBN 0195754476
  • New Women's Writing in African Literature: A Review. ISBN 1592211356


  • (1)Aron Aji. Book review, African Studies Review, Vol. 38, No. 1 (Apr., 1995), pp. 134-136.

External links