Women Writers of Gabon
Literature and Herstory
By (author) Cheryl Toman
Publication date:07 October 2016
Length of book:170 pages
Women Writers of Gabon: Literature and Herstory demonstrates how the invisibility of women (historically, politically, cross-culturally, etc.) has led to the omission of Gabon’s literature from the African canon, but it also discusses in depth the unique elements of Gabonese women’s writing that show it is worthy of critical recognition and that prove why Gabonese women writers must be considered a major force in African literature. This book is the only book-length critical study of Gabonese literature that exists in English and although there are titles in French that provide analyses of the works of Gabonese women writers, no one work is comprehensive nor is the history of women’s writing in Gabon considered in the such a manner. Throughout the various chapters, the book explores, among other things, contributions that are unique to Gabonese women writers such as: definitions of African feminisms as they pertain to Gabonese society, the rewriting of oral histories, rituals, and traditions of the Fang ethnic group, one of the first introductions of same-sex couples in African Francophone literature, discussions on the impact of witchcraft on development, and the appropriating of the epic poetry known as the mvet by women writers. The chapters explore works by all major voices in Gabonese women’s writing including Angèle Rawiri, Justine Mintsa, Sylvie Ntsame, Honorine Ngou, and Chantal Magalie Mbazoo-Kassa and the book concludes with brief introductions of a younger generation of Gabonese women writers such as Edna Merey-Apinda, Alice Endamne, Nadia Origo, Miryl Eteno, and Elisabeth Aworet among others.
In Women Writers of Gabon: Literature and Herstory, French studies scholar Cheryl Toman provides extensive tools to understand how Gabonese Afra writers (such as Angèle Rawiri, Justine Mintsa, Sylvie Ntsame, and Honorine Ngou) represent women’s embodied experiences at the juncture of gender, sexuality, Westernization, and oppressive aspects of African traditions. By centering on the significance of symbolic drama and the ritualizing of experiences, the book pioneers scholarship that examines Gabonese women writers’ unique, and often overlooked, feminist use of Fang traditions.... Writers of Gabon demonstrates the compelling contributions made by Gabonese women writers in literature and culture.