Legacies of Departed African Women Writers: Matrix of Creativity and Power proffers varied perspectives of the invaluable contributions of ten deceased African writers from all across Africa who have cleared the path to a vibrant African feminist arena. The dynamics of change gleaned from both their textual and contextual concerns unarguably set the pace for contemporary African women writers who have striven to follow in the footsteps of their literary mothers as well as their oral foremothers. This book, edited by Helen Chukwuma and Chioma Carol Opara, shows the collective testament of ample creativity and power generated by these departed heroes: Flora Nwapa, Mariama Ba, Grace Ogot, Zulu Sofola, Bessie Head, Buchi Emecheta, Nawal El Saadawi, Assia Djebar, Yvonne Vera, and Nadine Gordimer. These chapters revolve around the positive impact of the celebrated writers on creative writing, theoretical formulations, and socio-cultural change. The contributors argue that these corpuses of works have illuminated creativity rooted in power, vision, and freedom.
Helen O. Chukwuma is professor of English in the Department of English and Modern Foreign Languages at Jackson State University.
Chioma Carol Opara is professor of English and comparative literature and former director of the Foundation Studies Unit at Rivers State University.
Introduction: The Resounding Gongs of Fallen Female Heroes
Chioma Carol Opara and Helen O. Chukwuma
Part 1: Affirming the Charismatic Pathfinder: Flora Nwapa
Akachi Adimora- Ezeigbo
Kemi Wale- Olaitan
Perp St. Remy Asiegbu
Part 2: Orality and Rootedness in Culture and Tradition
Ada Uzoamaka Azodo
Part 3: Interrogating Identity, Autonomy, and History
Mary S. Lederer
Solomon Omatsola Azumurana
Queen Albert and Onyemechi Nwaeke
Rose A. Sackeyfio
Part 4: Confronting Containment with Resistance and Freedom
Austine Amanze Akpuda
Chinyere Grace Okafor
Irene Isoken Salami-Agunloye
Part 5: Dynamics of Power and Narrative Voice
Omeh Obasi Ngwoke and Okwudiri Anasiudu
Chioma Carol Opara
Epilogue: Un Cri de Coeur
"Containing richly layered tributes to ten pioneering African women writers, this book offers inspiration to the next generation of authors and scholars. The contributors are influential literary critics who remind us not to forget the oral genres, humor, and spirit of resistance that inspired the earliest women writers, and alert us to the ongoing impact of these foundational authors on the shape of African literature today."
"Helen Chukwuma and Chioma Carol Opara brought together an impressive array of African literary scholars, all of whom write with deep insight and theoretical adroitness on the heritage of African women authors in general and ten selected departed writers in particular. With this remarkable anthology of scholarship, these writers' pioneering voices are firmly established in the canon of African Letters. Legacies of Departed African Women Writers: Matrix of Creativity and Power is indispensable for contemporary African literary studies."