There are few works of literature that capture the day-to-day life of a black family in France quite like Alice Endamne's Afropean. Published originally in French as C'est demain qu'on s'fait la malle in 2008, Endamne's first novel opens with the start of the school year in fall 1989 and culminates with the end of the summer in 1990. The reader follows the life of its teen protagonist, Laetitia Obame, and those of her friends, family, teachers and acquaintances, with particular attention paid to her skinhead-turned-boyfriend, Stéphane Pellerin. Endamne's fictional characters and their world are affected by very real historical events of the times: the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, the release in February 1990 of South African anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela after 27 years of imprisonment, and the desecration of the Carpentras Jewish cemetery in France in May 1990-all happenings that received worldwide media coverage.Cheryl Toman, Case Western Reserve University
At the dawn of the twenty-first century, villages in the Fang region of northern Gabon must grapple with the clash of tradition and the evolution of customs throughout modern Africa. With this tension in the background, the passionate, deft, and creative seamstress Awu marries Obame, after he and his beloved wife, Bella, have been unable to conceive. Because all three are reluctant participants in this arrangement, theirs is an emotionally fraught existence. Through heartbreaking and disastrous events, Awu grapples with long-standing Fang customs that counter her desire to take full control of her life and home. Supplemented with a foreword and critical introduction highlighting Justine Mintsa's importance in African literature, Awu's Story is an essential work of African women's writing and the only published work to meditate this deeply on some of the Fang's most cherished legends and oral history.
Human capital, political, economic, disaster, in a word, Capital Culture! These are the facets of this volume which brings together eleven transdisciplinary researchers from four countries for a lively conversation in French and English. The result is an interdisciplinary dialogue between Asian-American literature, French-speaking studies, English-speaking African literature, African studies, Caribbean studies, cultural studies and of course, ethnic studies. It poses and demonstrates that Capital Culture can appear liberating for a minority and be destructive for the vast majority. The same goes for immigration, war, prostitution, corruption, marginalization and survival, themes at the center of the literatures and cultures in question in this volume.
This book continues a conversation initiated by renowned intellectuals and writers worldwide and crossculturally who have claimed ownership of what were previously considered colonial or vehicular languages. The essays use as their reference significant works of written and oral literature, theater, and media. The theories presented in this book are some of the most important within the field of ethnic studies today and include perspectives from linguistic and literary theory as well as from feminist and disability theories. This book looks at notions of race, gender, class, and ethnicity and how these are expressed-or not-by language, and it demonstrates the latest trends in ethnic studies without dismissing the original theories that shaped the field. As the first study to concentrate on how speakers of indigenous and/or local languages significantly appropriate a dominant language as their own as a means of decolonizing communication and reinforcing cross-border commonalities on all levels of political and economic power, this is an important book for those in the fields of comparative literature, ethnic studies, linguistics (especially sociolinguistics), women's and gender studies, African and African American studies, Asian studies, French and francophone studies, Caribbean studies, English, disability studies, cultural studies, Middle Eastern studies, and postcolonial studies.
Gabon's first female novelist, Angèle Rawiri probed deeper into the issues that writers a generation before her--Mariama Bâ and Aminata Sow Fall--had begun to address. Translated by Sara Hanaburgh, this third novel of the three Rawiri published is considered the richest of her fictional prose. It offers a gripping account of a modern woman, Emilienne, who questions traditional values and seeks emancipation from them. Emilienne's active search for feminism on her own terms is tangled up with cultural expectations and taboos of motherhood, marriage, polygamy, divorce, and passion. She completes her university studies in Paris; marries a man from another ethnic group; becomes a leader in women's liberation; enjoys professional success, even earning more than her husband; and eventually takes a female lover. Yet still she remains unsatisfied. Those closest to her, and even she herself, constantly question her role as woman, wife, mother, and lover. The tragic death of her only child--her daughter Rékia--accentuates Emilienne's anguish, all the more so because of her subsequent barrenness and the pressure that she concede to her husband's taking a second wife. In her forceful portrayal of one woman's life in Central Africa in the late 1980s, Rawiri prompts us not only to reconsider our notions of African feminism and the canon of francophone African women's writing but also to expand our awareness of the issues women face across the world today in the workforce, in the bedroom, and among family and peers.
For three decades, Evelyne Accad has been one of the most promiment Arab Francophone writers and theorists. Her three novels, The Excised (1982), Poppy of the Massacre (1988), and Wounding Words (1993), her innovative autobiography, The Wounded Breast (2000), and her critical work, Sexuality and War (1990), treat issues such as female genital mutilation, civil war in her native Lebanon, the Tunisian feminist movement, 'femihumanisme', and multicultural perspectives on breast cancer. These writings span the fields of French and Francophone Studies, Women's and Gender Studies, Cultural Studies, Post-colonial theory, Middle Eastern Studies, and comparative literature. Egyptian feminist and essayist, Nawal El Saadawi, wrote the preface to this new collection of essays in which 25 scholars and writers offer diverse perspectives on Accad's writings. This book is an invaluable resource for students or specialists who study, teach, or research Accad's life and works.
Women Writers of Gabon: Literature and Herstory demonstrates how the invisibility of women (historically, politically, cross-culturally, etc.) has led to the omission of Gabon s literature from the African canon, but it also discusses in depth the unique elements of Gabonese women s writing that show it is worthy of critical recognition and that prove why Gabonese women writers must be considered a major force in African literature. This book is the only book-length critical study of Gabonese literature that exists in English and although there are titles in French that provide analyses of the works of Gabonese women writers, no one work is comprehensive nor is the history of women s writing in Gabon considered in the such a manner. Throughout the various chapters, the book explores, among other things, contributions that are unique to Gabonese women writers such as: definitions of African feminisms as they pertain to Gabonese society, the rewriting of oral histories, rituals, and traditions of the Fang ethnic group, one of the first introductions of same-sex couples in African Francophone literature, discussions on the impact of witchcraft on development, and the appropriating of the epic poetry known as the mvet by women writers. The chapters explore works by all major voices in Gabonese women s writing including Angele Rawiri, Justine Mintsa, Sylvie Ntsame, Honorine Ngou, and Chantal Magalie Mbazoo-Kassa and the book concludes with brief introductions of a younger generation of Gabonese women writers such as Edna Merey-Apinda, Alice Endamne, Nadia Origo, Miryl Eteno, and Elisabeth Aworet among others."