The Son of the House by Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia

The Son of the House by Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia

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SHORTLISTED for the Scotiabank Giller Prize 2021

WINNER of the Nigeria Prize for Literature 2021

SHORTLISTED for the Chinua Achebe Prize for Nigerian Writing 2021

The lives of two Nigerian women divided by class and social inequality intersect when they're kidnapped, held captive, and forced to await their fate together.


In the Nigerian city of Enugu, young Nwabulu, a housemaid since the age of ten, dreams of becoming a typist as she endures her employers' endless chores. She is tall and beautiful and in love with a rich man's son.

Educated and privileged, Julie is a modern woman. Living on her own, she is happy to collect the gold jewellery lovestruck Eugene brings her, but has no intention of becoming his second wife.

When a kidnapping forces Nwabulu and Julie into a dank room years later, the two women relate the storiesof their lives as they await their fate.

Pulsing with vitality and intense human drama, Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia's debut is set against four decades of vibrant Nigeria, celebrating the resilience of women as they navigate and transform what remains a man's world.

Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia is a lawyer, academic, and writer. She holds a doctorate in law from Dalhousie University and works in the areas of health, gender, and violence against women and children. Cheluchi divides her time between Lagos and Halifax.