Third installment of major literary and scholarly project exposes East African women's history and culture.
The third volume from the Women Writing Africa Project makes a significant contribution to the study of African literature and offers a textured portrait of women's lives in Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. These pieces span the centuries from 1711 to 2003, address topics ranging from religion to HIV and represent prose and poetry, fiction and nonfiction, lullabies and protest songs. Marriage is a theme that runs throughout: "A Mother's Advice and Prayer" from 1858 is a nuptial manual in verse, and "I Want a Divorce," taken from a 1922 court record, gives a valuable glimpse of the power struggles between husband and wife. On a lighter note, a collection of recent song lyrics complains about useless husbands and lovers. Many 20th-century writers address colonialism and independence: Penina Muhando Mlama's "Creating in the Mother-Tongue" looks at the linguistic, literary and socioeconomic obstacles to writing in indigenous languages. The editors' lucid introduction usefully contextualizes these wonderful writings, and this volume will be especially welcome in college classrooms. General readers who want to be entertained, educated and chastened about women's struggles and triumphs in east Africa will delight in this literary feast. (July)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Title: Women Writing Africa: The Eastern Region
Author: Amandina Lihamba
Publisher: Feminist Press at CUNY, The
Date Published: February 2007
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