Cover

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pp. C-C

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xii

I want to thank my professors at the State University of New York at Buffalo, Ruth Meyerowitz and Masani Alexis De Veaux, now respectively, former Chairs of American Studies and of Women’s Studies in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. I owe this work to my foremost instrumental teacher and mentor, Professor Mensah Nubukpo, Dean of the ...

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Preface

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pp. xiii-17

This book,African Literature: Gender Discourse, Religious Values and the African Worldview, is a significant contribution and service to the study of African literature. Safoura Salami-Boukari’s vision encompasses the interests and needs of a broad spectrum of readers....

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Introduction

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pp. xvii-xxvi

This book is a product of my experience teaching “Modern African Literature” and specifically “Selected African Women Writers” at the State University of Buffalo, New York (SUNY at Buffalo), and “Literature of the Black World” at Western Illinois University. The book was also driven by a need for foundational material beyond the assigned...

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PART ONE: Historical Background & Methodology

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pp. 1-12

We cannot deal with the contextual African literature without referring to the socio-historical background that shaped the characteristic features of that literature. According to Bill Ashcroft (1989) The Empire Writes Back: Reading Postcolonial Literature, more than three-quarters of the people living in the world today have had their lives shaped by the experience...

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PART TWO: Sociocultural Issues in Igbo Society

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pp. 13-78

The Igbo people share a common language (although there are differences of dialect in various regions) and common religious beliefs and practices. A number of anthropologists and commentators have asserted that they also worship a supreme deity, Chukwu, the Creator, but in recent years this assertion has been challenged by Donatus Nwoga.8 Looking at the ...

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PART THREE: Religion in African Literature & Implications for Today’s Society

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pp. 79-123

While Chinua Achebe has gained fame for his literary creativity and is widely known as one of the pioneers of African literature with his trilogy of Things Fall Apart, Arrow of God, andNo Longer at Ease, Obinkaram Echewa is a somewhat covert fire beneath a piece of cloth that needs to be unveiled for the profound and complex issues he ...

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PART FOUR: Character Depictions

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pp. 124-140

Efuru is the story of a heroine whose fate is not understandable to her neighbors. She is a beautiful and good-hearted creature who cannot marry because a river goddess Uhamiri has chosen her as her worshipper. The story begins in the pre-colonial times through the colonial era, and extends into postcolonial or modern times. Efuru is a young woman at ...

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PART FIVE: African Women’s Voice: Critical & Comparative Perspectives

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pp. 141-205

In trying to compare the main characters’ plights and relate them to each other, I would like to show how two male writers, writing more or less in the same era, portray quite opposite representations of African womanhood. First published in England in 1958, Things Fall Apart is Chinua Achebe’s first and most famous novel. It is considered a classic ...

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PART SIX: Reflection on Arts and Women’s Activism

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pp. 206-216

The Role of the Writer as an Activist and Promoter of Social ChangeIn this last section of our discussion on African Literature: Gender Discourse, Religious Values and the African Worlview, the different essay selections have been geared towards not only highlighting the diversity of African writers, but also showcasing specificities that make African ...

Discussion & Essay Questions

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pp. 217-226

Endnotes

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pp. 227-228

Bibliography, Further Reading

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pp. 229-238

Index

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pp. 239-255

Back Cover

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pp. BC-BC