Nervous Conditions

Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga (first published in the UK by the Women’s Press in 1988)

Introduced by Chibundu Onuzo 

I read Nervous Conditions this month for the first time with my book club. It’s one of those books that are so famous, that you’re embarrassed to admit you haven’t read it. When I met the author I was star struck, and I’d have been doubly so, if I’d read the book!


The protagonist is a young girl, who starts off in the village. When her brother dies, she’s given the opportunity to continue her education in a town school and thus starts the journey of ‘progress’ and alienation from her home.

It’s a powerful story that has a lot to say about a lot of things: colonialism, patriarchy, education. It’s also quite funny. So if you’re looking for a good read, I’d definitely recommend.




Tsitsi Dangarembga (born 1959) is a Zimbabwean author and filmmaker.


Chibundu Onuzo (born 1991) is a Nigerian author and PhD student. Her second novel, Welcome to Lagos, will be published by Faber & Faber in January 2017.

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