Stories of women

Gender and narrative in the postcolonial nation

By Elleke Boehmer

Stories of women

Book Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-6879-9
  • Pages: 256
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £16.99
  • Published Date: June 2009
  • BIC Category: Literature, Literature: history & criticism, LITERARY CRITICISM / Women Authors, LITERARY CRITICISM / General, Society & social sciences / Gender studies: women, Literature & literary studies / Literature: history & criticism


Elleke Boehmer's work on the crucial intersections between independence, nationalism and gender has already proved canonical in the field. 'Stories of women' combines her keynote essays on the mother figure and the postcolonial nation, with incisive new work on male autobiography, 'daughter' writers, the colonial body, the trauma of the post-colony, and the nation in a transnational context. Focusing on Africa as well as South Asia, and sexuality as well as gender, Boehmer offers fine close readings of writers ranging from Achebe, Okri and Mandela to Arundhati Roy and Yvonne Vera, shaping these into a critical engagement with theorists of the nation like Fredric Jameson and Partha Chatterjee.

This new paperback edition will be of interest to readers and researchers of postcolonial, international and women's writing; of nation theory, colonial history and historiography; of Indian, African, migrant and diasporic literatures, and is likely to prove a landmark study in the field.


1. Theorising the en-gendered nation: Motherlands, mothers and nationalist sons
2. 'The master's dance to the master's voice': Revolutionary nationalism and women's representation in Ngugi wa Thiong'o
3. Of goddesses and stories: Gender and a new politics in Achebe
4. The hero's story: The male leader's autobiography and the syntax of postcolonial nationalism
5. Stories of women and mothers: Gender and nationalism in the early fiction of Flora Nwapa
6. Daughters of the house: The adolescent girl and the nation
7. Transfiguring: colonial body into postcolonial narrative
8. The nation as metaphor: Ben Okri, Chenjerai Hove, Dambudzo Marechera
9. East is East: where postcolonialism is neo-orientalist - the cases of Sarojini Naidu and Arundhati Roy
10. Tropes of yearning and dissent: The inflection of desire in Yvonne Vera and Tsitsi Dangarembga
11. Beside the West: postcolonial women writers in a transnational frame
12. Conclusion: Defining the nation differently


Elleke Boehmer is Hildred Carlile Professor in English at Royal Holloway, University of London

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