Gender Issues in African Literature
From the African Library of Critical Writing
Available from African Books Collective
‘Gender Issues’ examines the ways in which some protagonists in African fictions are made to challenge and counter entwined western discussions on family, politics, gender and sexuality.
There are seven chapters altogether with a study of Achebe, Fall, Gordimer, Vers, Emecheta, Ezeigbo, and the Swiss Gabonese writer, Bessora.
Here the perennial conflicts between tradition and modernity are argued not so much from the favourite premise of male supremacist orientation as the showing of how women can ‘unlearn’ the false concepts internalized from society in order to build a sustainable women’s movement and relearn the values of sisterhood.
Coming ahead of the supplementary criticism on Female Subjectivities this is in line with the literary vision of the editors of the African Library of Critical Writing to translate gender issues in modern African thought into an inspiring framework for the cultivation of African Indigenous heritage across the barriers of frequently misunderstood gender relations in African philosophical constructs.
There is a significant attempt to reread Achebe as even most consistent in urging women against the oppressive structures that traditionally confine them. Achebe is proven by his writings to have urged women to disregard their diversity and embrace their unity.
This perspective has been deemphasised in the course of a plethora of western feminist critical stereotypes that insist on reading female marginalisation in the African characters of Achebe.
Going further, a feminist rewriting disagrees with the attempt to equate theory with political activism and presents feminist literature as more than a verbal assertion that points to feminist aesthetics and feminist politics.
The use of trauma theory and testimonio literature to explore the plight of female characters and its impact for Zimbabwean civil society is a useful addition to the gender studies in African literature.
The editors of this volume of African Library of Critical Writing have left behind a work of significant support for African and world writers – and critics – toward the deepening of vision and craft in order to sustain literary harvests that can not only resolve individual emotional and social conflicts but also endure in hearts and minds across generations.