“The characters Makuchi creates are survivors; they are scrappy and they are strong, especially the women. As we enter their world and see the neocolonial forces of gargantuan proportions that shape their daily living, Makuchi's pen guides us into a new literary space. She wields her pen like a pioneer's axe in the forest, clearing new spaces…that invite us to consider realities we would otherwise never know.”
Eloise A. Briere (from the introduction)
Women's writing in Cameroon has so far been dominated by Francophone writers. The short stories in this collection represent the yearnings and vision of an Anglophone woman, who writes both as a Cameroonian and as a woman whose life has been shaped by the minority status her people occupy within the nation-state.
The stories in Your Madness, Not Mine are about postcolonial Cameroon, but especially about Cameroonian women, who probe their day-to-day experiences of survival and empowerment as they deal with gender oppression: from patriarchal expectations to the malaise of maldevelopment, unemployment, and the attraction of the West for young Cameroonians.
Makuchi has given us powerful portraits of the people of postcolonial Africa in the so-called global village who too often go unseen and unheard.
Makuchi is professor of English and Comparative Literature at North Carolina State University, Raleigh. Her publications include a book of short fiction, Your Madness, Not Mine: Stories of Cameroon, and Gender in African Women’s Writing: Identity, Sexuality, and Difference. More info →
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The Twelve Best Books by African Women is a collection of critical essays on eleven works of fiction and one play, an important but belated affirmation of women writers on the continent and a first step toward establishing a recognized canon of African women’s literature.
The Sacred Door and Other Stories: Cameroon Folktales of the Beba offers readers a selection of folktales infused with riddles, proverbs, songs, myths, and legends, using various narrative techniques that capture the vibrancy of Beba oral traditions. Makuchi retells the stories that she heard at home when she was growing up in her native Cameroon.
On Black Sisters Street tells the haunting story of four very different women who have left their African homeland for the riches of Europe—and who are thrown together by bad luck and big dreams into a sisterhood that will change their lives. Each night, Sisi, Ama, Efe, and Joyce stand in the windows of Antwerp’s red-light district, promising to make men’s desires come true—if only for half an hour.