Buchi Emecheta was born in Lagos in Nigeria. Her father, a railway worker, died when she was very young. At the age of ten she won a scholarship to the Methodist Girls' High School, but by the time she was seventeen she had left school, married and had a child. She accompanied her husband to London where he was a student. Aged 22, she left him, and took an honours degree in Sociology while supporting her five children and writing in the early morning. Her first book, 'In The Ditch' details her experience as a poor, single parent in London. It was followed by 'Second-Class Citizen', 'The Bride Price', 'The Slave Girl', which was awarded the Jock Campbell Award, 'The Joys of Motherhood', 'Destination Biafra', 'Naira Power', 'Double Yoke', 'Gwendolen', 'The Rape of Shavi' and 'Kehinde', as well as a number of children's books and a play, 'A Kind of Marriage' produced on BBC television. Her autobiography, 'Head Above Water', appeared in 1986 to much acclaim.