They could be bought and sold if a man wanted to have a woman and their opinion was not even asked. Female Novelists of Modern Africa. Choice has an important task to perform in the story. There will always be different ideological standpoints and world views within a movement for social change, even if the goals are the same. I was disappointed by this, because the book draws you This book started out with so much potential. With her 1983 work, Double Yoke, she returned to more manageable settings and subject matter, and picked up with her discussions of prejudices.
Some of these brides are so young, undernourished, and with such narrow hips that this superstition unfortunately does come true far too often. This novel is the story of Aku-nna, whose entire life boils down only to how much money she will be worth to a prospective husband. Ma Blackie has some money set aside for Aku-nna to finish her schooling, and Okonkwo agrees, only because an educated girl will fetch a high Aku-nna's father dies when she is thirteen-years-old. Buchi Emecheta portrays the struggles of Nigerian women during colonial times. Trenton, , Africa World Press, 1999.
From 1980 to 1981, she was senior resident fellow and visiting professor of English, University of Calabar, Nigeria. For many young people in Nigeria education seems to offer a route towards self-fulfillment, but Double Yoke shows what the price can be when a young girl tries to cope with the rival claims of tradition and modernity within a system which fundamentally has little to offer that is really valid. Visiting professor at several universities throughout the , including Pennsylvania State University, —, and University of Illinois—Urbana-Champaign, 1979; senior resident fellow and visiting professor of English, University of Calabar, Nigeria, 1980—81; lecturer, , 1982, London University, 1982—; fellow, London University, 1986. First published in 1976, this great literary classic follows a young Nigerian woman who rejects the patriarchal traditions of her culture to find love and happiness in the western world. Indeed, Kehinde tackles the problem of idealization head-on, as the title character moves with her husband Albert from London —where she has lived for 18 years —back to Lagos. There is a tribal superstition that a girl will die in childbirth if her bride price is not paid. Emecheta also ran the Ogwugwu Afor Publishing Company, which has branches in London and Ibuza, Nigeria, from 1982 to 1983, and published her next two novels through the publisher.
The story itself is very engaging, keeping my attention as I wondered if the tale of the two Nigerian lovers would have a happy ending. She found a job in the library of the in 1965 and later became a youth worker with London Education Authority. In the novel, women are imprisoned in traditional norms: they are meant to serve their husbands, bear children preferably sons , and have little say in family affairs. Okonkwo wanted to become one of the rich men in his community; therefore he decided to keep Aku-nna in school so she could get more money for her bride price. Visiting professor at several universities throughout the , including Pennsylvania State University, University of , , and University of at Urbana-Champaign, 1979; senior resident fellow and visiting professor of English, University of , Nigeria, 1980-81; lecturer, , 1982, London University, 1982-; fellow, London University, 1986. Lastly, through out the book there are a few mistakes made grammatically and in spelling.
In The Joys of Motherhood we become aware of the mordant irony of the title as the novel chronicles the misfortunes of Nnu Ego, a simple Nigerian girl who comes to Lagos to marry and suffers every kind of humiliation as her husband proves himself incapable of overcoming the admittedly difficult circumstances of his wretched existence. Gwendolen's misfortunes had, however, already begun before she ever left Jamaica, and in London tensions within the immigrant community are shown to be particularly damaging. Despite their joy, Aku-nna is plagued by the fear the she will die in childbirth--the fate, according to tribal lore, awaiting every young mother whose bride price is left unpaid. Social Influences and Feminist Themes It is evident that Emecheta was sorely impacted in childhood by gender bias—when, for example, she almost missed getting an education because girls were kept at home while boys were sent to school. The influence of social values with regard to women is also apparent, as it became an early theme that prevailed throughout her work. Her mother died when she was young, and she was orphaned as a young girl when her father was killed serving with British troops in Burma, another British colony that had gained its independence in the late 1940s but was marred by internal strife and violence between nationalists and Communists vying for power.
Over the course of her six year marriage, Emecheta gave birth to five children. Following tradition, Ma Blackie becomes the fourth wife of her deceased husband's brother, Okonkwo. A caste system exists where a villager could not marry a descendent of a slave, no matter how educated or successful they were. She was engaged at age eleven, and married at age sixteen. Bride price according to Gita Sen is problematic in that it is defined as a payment made by a prospective husband to the family of a woman he wishes to marry Sen. The Joys of Motherhood: A Novel, Braziller, 1979.
Her mother, Ma Blackie, is forced by economic circumstances to leave their close community of supportive relatives in Lagos, and move back to her village in Ibuza with Aku-nna and eleven-year-old Nna-nndo. There Aku-nna sees her life begin to be stifled by severe traditional norms and superstition. Gwendolen novel , Collins, 1990. But it turns out that it worked well for an enjoyable afternoon reading ; not for it's content of course, harrowing as that is, but just the right book for the right mood. This expresses how the practice of paying the bride prices carries on. The cynicism of the whole enterprise is revealed when the heroine realizes she must trade sexual favors with her professor if she is to gain the examination results she covets. But because Aku-nna and Nna-nndo had been educated in the big city, they are allowed to continue their schooling; Aku-nna is exceptionally unusual to be granted such permission.
However, I'm glad that I got the chance to read this book to inform myself of Nigerian tradition and to change my perspective of Africa. But as Aku-nna approaches womanhood her ambitious uncle makes plans to marry her off for a high bride price. It is a duet between a flute and a kitchen drain. The books describe her childhood in Lagos, her 1960 marriage to Onwordi, and their move to England. Bruner, Charlotte, and David Bruner. This quote clearly explains that young women are determined to marry someone rich, so they can afford expensive bride price to his father even if the bride, herself never meet or love that man.
Published: 1995 Publisher: African Writers Series Heinemann Pages: 180 Review by Darkowaa Adu-Kofi. . From 1969 to 1976 she was a youth worker and sociologist for the Inner London Education Authority, and from 1976 to 1978 she was a community worker. They are drawn together despite the obstacles standing between them and their happiness, defying even the traditions of tribal life. It is very unlikely that any aspect of this book is autobiographical, but at the same time Emecheta has woven a great deal of Nigerian culture into this brief novel, specifically culture as it applies to a young woman struggling to grasp her own agency in a distinctly patriarchal society. In her spare time, Emecheta wrote, but her husband resented her At a Glance … Born July 21, 1944, in Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria; daughter of Jeremy Nwabudike a railway worker and molder and Alice Ogbanje Okwuekwu Emecheta; married Sylvester Onwordi, 1960 separated, 1966 ; children: Florence, Sylvester, Jake, Christy, Alice.
The Bride Price is a jump into the deep end of Igbo culture and beliefs, especially around women and marriage. The story here is compelling, and the characters are fully realized and sympathetic. Family: Married Sylvester Onwordi in 1960 separated 1969 ; two sons and three daughters. Such is the case in the Nigerian society. And though Destination Biafra contains some devastating pictures of the pretentiousness and luxurious lifestyle of upper-class Nigerians, Emecheta generally concerns herself with the straightforward portrayal of the underprivileged. With the author's description, the story, to me, was planned out in a perfect manner. In 1982, she took a faculty position at the.