Edited and introduced by
Ada Uzoamaka Azodo
Trenton, NJ : Africa World Press, 2003. 650 pages
Like all good literature, Mariama Bâ's writings constitute social texts that renew themselves with each younger generation, each different society, and each new awareness because they are constantly interrogated, subverted, and primed with new meanings. Like the proverbial phoenix, therefore, Mariama Bâ and her fiction rise again and again from their own ashes.
This volume is inspired by and celebrates the life and art of Mariama Bâ, winner of the first Noma Prize for publishing in Africa. Bâ's creative work is sparse, given her relatively short life, but compact, vivid, and dense. A long and complete bibliography of the vibrant critical reception of Bâ's writings bears testimony to their status, depth, and canonical dimensions. There is practically no school curriculum in the United States that does not feature Bâ's texts either in the original French version or in the English translation.
The insightful and thoughtful essays that make up this collection represent a fascinating spectrum of up-to-the-minute readings, with the most recent methodologies, by a variety of scholars in African literature who do not belong to any one school of criticism, age, occupation, race or nationality. They include such scholars as Jean-Marie Volet, Obioma Nnaemeka, Omofolabo Ajayi, Mary Jane Androne, Lillian Corti, Ada Uzoamaka Azodo, Georges Joseph, Igolima Amachree, and Keith L. Walker. Also included is Harrell-Bond's famous and often-quoted interview with Mariama Bâ, translated into English by Olivia Jamin, not to mention Mariama Bâ's lone essay, “The Political Functions of Written African Literatures.”
Ada Uzoamaka Azodo is the author of L'imaginaire dans les romans de Camara Laye and co-editor of Emerging Perspectives on Ama Ata Aidoo (AWP, 1999), Emerging perspectives on Ken Bugul : from alternative choices to oppositional practices (2009), Emerging perspectives on Aminata Sow Fall : the real and the imaginary in her novels and Gender and sexuality in African literature and film, both in 2007). She has also published articles on francophone and anglophone Africa in a variety of scholarly journals, including Mots Pluriels, Journal of Religion in Africa, New York Feminist Press, Research in African Literaures, and Palabres.
Gender, Genre, Style, And Language
Framing The Margins
Narrating History, Nation, And Female Identity
Women And Space
Words From The Beyond
From Author To Nation