There are 18 critical essays on Buchi Emecheta.
Critical Essays on Buchi Emecheta
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Critical Essay by Rolf Solberg
6,995 words, approx. 23 pages
In the following essay, Solberg examines Emecheta's conflicted feminist perspective and the representation of African women and contemporary social themes in her fiction. According to Solberg, Emecheta's harsh criticism of male chauvinism is tempered by her respect for traditional African culture.
Critical Essay by Buchi Emecheta
4,792 words, approx. 16 pages
In the following essay, Emecheta discusses her artistic concerns and feminist perspective. As Emecheta illustrates, African feminism differs significantly from Western feminism due to the distinct cultural values and sexual identity of African women.
Critical Essay by Christine Loflin
3,342 words, approx. 11 pages
In the following excerpt, Loflin examines the significance of household environments and architecture in The Joys of Motherhood as indicative of tension between traditional Nigerian communal life and the social pressures of Western modernization.
Critical Essay by Marie Linton Umeh
2,933 words, approx. 10 pages
In the following essay, Umeh discusses Emecheta's social concerns and the presentation of female liberation and sex roles in Double Yoke. “Emecheta again campaigns against female subjugation and champions her case for female emancipation,” writes Umeh.
Critical Essay by Mary E. Modupe Kolawole
2,248 words, approx. 8 pages
In the following excerpt, Kolawole discusses Emecheta's fictional use of autobiography in Second-Class Citizen to illustrate the reality of African women. “The intersection of personal problems, communal dilemmas, ethnicity, race, class, and gender problems,” writes Kolawole, “is remarkably underscored in this novel.”
Critical Essay by Anita Kern
272 words, approx. 1 pages
The London-based Nigerian writer Buchi Emecheta continues to grow in talent and craftsmanship. The novel The Slave Girl, her fourth book, is her most accomplished work so far. It is coherent, compact and convincing. It also represents a considerable achievement for a writer who … has worked under very difficult conditions…. [In] general the slave girls are not too badly off. Emecheta describes their life in the context of early twentieth-century Onitsha society, in which buying and selling peo...
Critical Essay by Joseph Lelyveld
256 words, approx. 1 pages
[Buchi Emecheta's account in "The Joys of Motherhood"] of three generations of Ibo women and their changing values with regard to the children they raise and the men they wed is refreshingly straightforward…. The values of her women change, of course, so history can be seen through the lives of these characters. But they don't see themselves as acting in history. (p. 15)
Critical Essay by Peter Kemp
247 words, approx. 1 pages
The Joys of Motherhood, by Buchi Emecheta, is that rarity, a quiet piece of feminism. Its main character, Nnu Ego, is also out of the ordinary. (p. 93) Both the old way of life which shaped Nnu Ego, and the new one she has to cope with, are described in absorbing detail. On the one hand is an Ibo village world of guardian gods, dream-readers, tattooed beauties and polygamous protocol; on the other, a shanty-town existence of backbreaking toil and petty trading—sales of smuggled cigarettes, fried locu...
Critical Essay by Alice Walker
219 words, approx. 1 pages
Though [Second Class Citizen] is not stylistically exciting and is no doubt heavily autobiographical, it is no less valid as a novel. And a good one. It raises fundamental questions about how creative and prosaic life is to be lived and to what purpose, which is more than some books, written while one's children are banished from one's life, do. Second Class Citizen (and the title is unfortunate) is one of the most informative books about contemporary African life that I have read. (p. 106)
Critical Essay by Adrianne Blue
183 words, approx. 1 pages
[In the Ditch is] derived from a diary Emecheta had kept for years, it depicts life at Pussy Cat Mansions, a public housing project, where Adah and her cockney neighbors develop a transient sense of community…. The "ditch" of the title is a metaphor for poverty. The book is sad, sonorous, occasionally hilarious: an extraordinary first novel….
Critical Essay by Valentine Cunningham
178 words, approx. 1 pages
The cumulative achievement of [Buchi Emecheta's] Second-Class Citizen (1975), The Bride Price (1976) and The Slave Girl (1977) has commanded my mounting admiration. In narratives of attractively readable simplicity (the sort that requires terrific art to bring off) she has successively charted the efforts of a Nigerian woman and her burgeoning family to survive the bleaknesses of a hostile London, and the problems of love and marriage in present and recently-past Nigeria. With the compelling warmth o...
Critical Essay by Andrew Motion
155 words, approx. 1 pages
Buchi Emecheta is … concerned with tyranny, but her attention is more precisely fixed on the trials of a specific gender than of a particular nation. Although the action of The Joys of Motherhood is confined to 20th-century Nigeria, it teaches lessons which could equally well be learnt elsewhere. The economic and familial pressures exerted on women in Western communities are less obvious, but no less pervasive, than those which surround others in and around Lagos. The novel's heroine, Nnu Ego,...