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Daughters of Africa Hardcover – September 8, 1992


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1089 pages
  • Publisher: Pantheon; 1st American ed edition (September 8, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067941634X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679416340
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 7 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,581,708 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"Trying to catch a flowing river in a calabash" is how Margaret Busby, editor of Daughters of Africa, describes assembling this impressively broad collection of writings by women of African descent. Early selections include songs from sub-Saharan Africa and ancient Egypt that carve out a heritage. Later writings are poignant, infuriating, or simply enjoyable. Nisa, a !Kung woman from Botswana, tells of her family's consternation over her reluctance to marry at the respectable age of 12. Carolia Maria de Jesus writes movingly of life in the Brazilian favelas, shantytown slums where she raised her children. And Alice Childress, a talented American writer and actress, contributes a hilarious one-sided conversation in which a brassed-off maid sets her employer straight regarding their decidedly nonfamilial relationship. Drawing on so many cultures strains the connecting thread, but makes the book richly rewarding. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Geographically this voluminous collection is diverse, including women writers who were born or reside in, or who are associated with, African, Caribbean, North and South American, and European countries. But chronologically it heavily favors 20th-century writers, especially contemporary authors. The ancient tradition section fea tures Egyptian Queen Hatshepsut and Queen of Sheba Makeda, while slave narratives dominate the 19th-century period--many already published in their entirety as part of the excellent Schomburg Library of Nineteenth Century Black Women Writers (Oxford). Accompanying each author are brief biographical sketches, a reading list, and a bibliography of additional anthologies and critical works. Largely because of these scholarly additions, Busby's comprehensive anthology is an invaluable text for courses on women writers and writers of African descent. Recommended. Pre viewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/1/92.
- Faye A. Chadwell, Univ. of South Carolina Lib., Columbia
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By L. Gray on November 8, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is one of the most extraordinary compilations I have ever had the pleasure of reading. The writing is extremely rich with information on the insights of women, and their various cultures and lifestyles; the reader even gets a glimpse of the various dialects of countries as she goes from piece to piece. As I was reading the book, I realized that although I am an avid reader, I was not familiar with the writing of many of the authors (nor were the majority of my friends). I find it unfortunate that there are so many women authors who never gain proper recognition for their literary talents simply because many people have never been exposed to their writing. Although Margaret Busby admits that many authors were omitted due to necessity, this book is definitely a step in the right direction. I would love to see a "Sons of Africa" anthology.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 15, 1999
Format: Paperback
A well researched anthology which I found compelling and educational. A book I discovered several years ago and have recommended to many. An avid reader and writer (contributor to Go Girl: The Black Woman's Book to Travel and Adventure) I found this book to be first rate focusing on universal themes and many that were enlightening related to the plights (emotional, spiritual and psychological), and achievements of women from different cultures. Many of the stories were uplifting, provocative, heartwarming and humorous which gave me deeper insight into certain cultures and fired my curiosity and interest related to social and political aspects of certain countries. In addition, I learned a bit of history and was challenged to expand my literary and cultural horizons. A book everyone should have.
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Format: Paperback
I got this book from my grandmother in high school. Truth be told, I "borrowed" it and never gave it back! I loved it because it traces early African female writings as well as contemporary excerpts. You can actually read the writing of the Queen of Sheba and the Egyptian Queen Hatshepsut. I think this is so important for black women, especially.

As a writer, I have seen speeches and writings of famous European Queens like Elizabeth I, but you don't often find books containing the writings of African queens like these. As a young black girl, it was empowering to me to see what came before me and what I might acheive because of the women in this book. Their determination and courage created a place for me and other minority women to express ourselves publicly, to give a voice to our culture and to our gender.

One of the interesting things about this book is to see the writings of freed and escaped slaves. We have the assumption that slaves were uneducated, especially female slaves, and yet here is evidence that there were learned black women speaking out about slavery and its effects. Some, such as Harriet Jacobs (aka Linda Brent), were writing before slavery had been abolished in order to encourage the emancipation of black people.

Because this book also features writings from women in different countries, it has a richness that wouldn't be there if it only focused on American women. It speaks of what it means to be a black woman no matter what time or place you live in.
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