Gabonese author Justine Mintsa may write in French, but her approach to decolonizing the literary text includes the skillful and artistic infusion of elements of her native Fang culture and language. In her three works to date, Un seul tournant Makôsu (1994), Premières lectures (1997), and Histoire d'Awu (2000), Mintsa's prose mixes with poetry clearly inspired by the m'vet, the renowned epic of the Fang. In Histoire d'Awu, Mintsa challenges certain oppressive traditions, such as the treatment of Fang widows by their sister-in-laws. Yet, Mintsa rewrites in the same text a contemporary version of a Fang creation myth that serves to pay homage to the rich history of her culture. In all of her texts, Mintsa succeeds in praising what is positive about Fang tradition while questioning other customs. While Western feminist theory often equates "tradition" with "oppression," Mintsa defies this notion in her Afrocentric approach to writing in French.


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pp. 121-132
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