Author Aminatta Forna described Emecheta as one of Wole Soyinka's "so-called 'Renaissance generation,' those Africans who came of age at the same time as their countries. She and other writers all over the continent had both the challenge and the joy that comes with being first, of writing Africa and Africans into literary existence. They embraced the task."
Emecheta's books include The Joys of Motherhood, The New Tribe, Second Class Citizen, The Slave Girl, The Bride Price and Head Above Water. She adapted her first play, A Kind of Marriage (1976), into a novel 10 years later.