The story is a tale of a young woman, Ihuoma, who belongs to Nigeria’s Igbo ethnic group. Her plight involves her past life, when she was said to be the wife of the mythical Sea King deity. This gives her great status in the present, but portends doom for any mortal man who seeks to marry her. As the novel progresses, Ihuoma is wed and widowed three times, as a result of the wrath of the Sea King toward those who would usurp his bride. Though it seems a traditional cautionary tale on the surface, Dictionary of Literary Biography essay that “the strength of The Concubine rests on the fact that it is not folklore but realistic-style fiction, in spite of its strong penetration by the super-natural.
From his first appearance as a novelist, with The Concubine in 1966, Elechi Amadi established himself as a unique figure in African fiction. … Read More