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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Slavery and etiological discourse in the writing of Ama Ata Aidoo, Bessie Head, and Buchi Emecheta
Author:Olaogun, ModupeISNI
Periodical:Research in African Literatures
Geographic terms:Ghana
South Africa
About persons:Christina Ama Ata Aidoo (1942-)ISNI
Buchi Emecheta (1944-)
Bessie Amelia Head (1937-1986)ISNI
Abstract:Slavery is a theme that has been explored by the writers Ama Ata Aidoo (Ghana), Buchi Emecheta (Nigeria), and Bessie Head (South African-born, Botswana naturalized). In addition to their interest in chattel slavery, these women writers look at states that share some characteristics with slavery, notably oppression across class, ethnicity and gender, servility, and dependency. Appearing in a time when the tendency in African literature was toward a reflection of current social and political developments, these writers' depictions of slavery are remarkable. The present article suggests that these writers' representations of slavery are explorations of more remote or submerged causes of the problems frequently configured as neocolonial. Furthermore, it suggests that the writers' depictions of gender relations in the chosen texts are not the texts' exclusive destinations, as has tended to be assumed by much of the critical focus on these texts' gender discourse. The depictions of gender relations serve a broader etiological purpose of accounting for 'the state of things'. The analysis focuses on Aidoo's 'Anowa' (1970), Emecheta's 'The slave girl' (1977), and Head's 'Maru' (1971), but it also refers to other relevant works by these writers. Bibliogr., notes. [ASC Leiden abstract]