Nigerian Marriage Advice Booklets: 1962–2009Public Deposited
This working paper focuses on the themes, authors, and changing modes of production of 152 booklets published (or purchased) in Nigeria relating to marriage. The author obtained them from bookshops mainly in Ibadan and Lagos, from church bookstores in Ado-Ekiti and Kabba, but also from motor parks in Lokoja, Kaduna, and Zaria, from 1988 to 2010. The majority of these small booklets were published in Ibadan (69 books), with an additional 29 books published in Lagos. Many include the names of authors, publishers, and dates of publication. Most were written in English, while a few were written in Yoruba. Some also include short biographies of booklet authors, most of whom are men, although more recently an increasing number of booklets were written by women, which has implications for discussions of gender and marriage. While related to Onitsha market fiction and dream interpretation booklets, they focus on the ongoing decisions and dilemmas associated with marriage. The booklets also reflect changing aspects in print technology. While early booklets were published by licensed presses, some more recent publications reflect self-published efforts—with attractive color photographs rather than simple monochrome drawings. Indeed, most recently, digital copies of marriage advice booklets may be purchased through the internet, suggesting the ongoing importance of being up-to-date that these booklets represent.
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