This paper discusses history, memory and trauma of the Nigerian people that has influenced on and shaped the contemporary Nigerian novel. It analyzes the novels The Bride Price (1978) and Destination Biafra (1983) by Buchi Emecheta and Half of a Yellow Sun (2007) and Purple Hibiscus (2004) by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It discusses critical theories by Jane Bryce, Ann Adams, A.O.Amoko, Ziad Bentahar and Vivian Yenika-Agbaw on post-colonialism, the Nigerian nation, the Biafran War and the position of women. The first part discusses the history of colonialism and its consequences, and explains colonialism’s influence on modern Nigerian politics, economy and society. It also analyzes the question of the Nigerian nation and its internal ethnic conflict and division. This chapter also discusses the Nigerian collective memory and the consequences of transition from colonialism to independence, the Civil War and the post-colonial period. It compares and contrasts Nigerian society and Western world, but it also contrasts the division and polarities within Nigerian society based on religion, education, race, gender and economic status. The second part discusses the Biafran War for Independence as a constant motif in the works of Nigerian authors. It explains the role of men and women in the war and examines the authors’ description of both male and female concepts of war and conflict. Additionally, it analyses the technique the authors use to give voice to ordinary people. It describes the position of women in the colonial and post-colonial era. Analyzing the rise of female protagonists and female writers in contemporary Nigerian literature, this paper explains the trope of “Mother Africa” and describes the emerging female coming-of-age novel. Furthermore, it compares and contrasts the “Mother Africa” trope to a new notion of womanhood emerging in the works of the third-generation Nigerian writers.