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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Slaps at/for dignity: Hope Keshubi's rebellious legacy of social transformation
Author:Ondrus, Suzanne
Periodical:Research in African Literatures (ISSN 0034-5210)
Geographic term:Uganda
women writers
About person:Hope KeshubiISNI
Abstract:This paper examines two 1997 epistolary novels, 'To a Young Woman' and 'Going Solo', by late Ugandan author Hope Keshubi, which offer a programmatic reading of Uganda's contemporary problems. Keshubi's primary agenda in these novels is to promote dialogue on the following social and political issues concerning women: sexual health, sexual maturation, domestic violence (wife battery and paternal abuse), subjugating traditions, discriminatory inheritance laws, and social relations between mistress and wife. The paper examines how Keshubi deftly works against patriarchal constraints on speech and actions, which have real and harmful consequences for the lives of Ugandan girls and women. Keshubi's texts show women they can triumph over discrimination and taboos, surviving physically and psychologically in the Uganda of the 1990s. The paper examines current denigrating literary reception of Ugandan women authors and asks why Keshubi did not experience demeaning reception a decade earlier. In Keshubi's works, it is the private act of a female narrator writing to a female addressee that constitutes agency and her contribution to society, keenly shown in 'To a Young Woman' and 'Going Solo', provides a new social vision of emotional transformation through prior unimagined dialogues. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]