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The concept of gender has rarely been used as a category of analysis in African literary circles and feminist theory is often seen as applicable only to western contexts. Critical strategies are needed for the study of women in African and post-colonial literatures. This book applies gender as a category of analysis to the works of nine sub-Saharan women writers: Aidoo, Beyala, Dangarembga, Emecheta, Head, Liking, Tlali, and Zanga Tsogo. The author appropriates western feminist theories of gender in an African literary context. In the process, she finds and names critical theory that is African, indigenous, self-determining, which she then melds with western feminist theory and comes out with an over-arching theory that enriches western, post-colonial and African critical perspectives. Abbenyi not only breaks the cycle of dependency on western critical theory, she also provides us with one of the first pan-African, comparative gender analysis of women's literature south of the Sahara. She reads side-by-side, Anglophone and Franco phone women writers, transcending artificial European linguistic barriers that relegate the study of this literature to English or French studies. Abbenyi shows how the writers re-inscribe African women as speaking-subjects in their fiction. The literary texts are shown to be an invaluable window in the on-going debates in the field of post-colonial theory that so far have failed to problematise the position of African women, thus offering reconstructive insights to feminist and post-colonial theories.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780253211491
ISBN-10: 0253211492
Format: Paperback
(234mm x 156mm x 11mm)
Pages: 206
Imprint: Indiana University Press
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Publish Date: 1-Jun-1997
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Juliana Makuchi Nfah-Abbenyi

Juliana Makuchi Nfah-Abbenyi, Assistant Professor of English & Post-Colonial Literature, University of Southern Mississippi, has contributed essays to Postcolonial African Writers: A Bio-Bibliographical Sourcebook, Oral Literature in Africa Today, and Womanhood and (M)othering in African Literature.