Arms Akimbo:
Africana Women in Contemporary Literature

Edited by Janice Liddell and Yakini Belinda Kemp

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"I highly recommend this collection of critical essays to those interested in global women’s issues as they are reflected in the fictions of Africana women writers."--Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Anna J. Cooper Professor of Women’s Studies, Spelman College

"Arms Akimbo will make a difference in the way scholars and other readers tend to compartmentalize Africana women’s experiences. It will destroy the barriers. It will be an essential reference for students just being introduced to Africana women’s experiences as well as a consistent reference for those already knowledgeable. Kemp and Liddell have designed a thoughtful, useful text that one will use again and again. I compliment them for their labor in the struggle to keep women’s studies vibrant, real, and inclusive."--Joyce Pettis, North Carolina State University

In an examination of the fiction of contemporary women writers of the African Diaspora, these writers engage important texts from writers in Africa, the Caribbean, and the United States, largely ignored by mainstream literary scholars. They employ fresh and poignant critical perspectives accessible to both scholars and students. The editors provides a comprehensive historical and critical overview of black women’s studies as it has developed transnationally and cogently situates these essays within this rapidly developing field.

Introduction--Black Women's Studies and the Intellectual Legacy: A Praise Song
I. A Birthing of Self
1. Psychic Rage and Response: the Enslaved and the Enslaver in Shirley Anne Williams' Dessa Rose, by Emma Waters-Dawson
2. Voyages Beyond Lust and Lactation: The Climacteric as Seen in Novels by Sylvia Wynter, Beryl Gilroy and Paule Marshall, by Janice Liddell
3. A Woman's Art; A Woman's Craft: The Self in Ntozake Shange's Sassafrass, Cypress, and Indigo, by Carol Marsh-Lockett
4. Coming Home to Herself: Autonomy and Self-Conversion in Flora Nwapa's One Is Enough, by Australia Tarver
II. Relationships: Mothering, Mistressing, Marrying and Woman to Woman--Disengaging the Family Romance
5. When Difference is not the Dilemma: The Black Woman Couple in African American Women's Fiction, by Yakini B. Kemp
6. 'Devouring Gods' and 'Sacrificial Animals': Male-Female Relationship in Ama Ata Aidoo's Changes: A Love Story, by Wei-hsung (Kitty) Wu
7. Snapshots of Childhood Life in Jamaica Kincaid's Fiction, by Brenda Berrien
8. Fire and Ice: The Socio-Economics of Romantic Romantic Love in Elizabeth Nunez Harrell's When Rocks Dance, by Thelma B. Thompson Deloatch
III. War on All Fronts: Race, Class, Sex, Age and Nationality
9. Agents of Pain and Redemption in Sapphire’s Push, by Janice Liddell
10. Romantic Love and Individual in Novels by Mariama, Buchi Emecheta and Bessie Head, by Yakini Kemp
11. The Politics of Exile: Ama Ata Aidoo's Our Sister Killjoy, by Gay Wilentz
12. Grenadian Popular Culture and the Rhetoric of Revolution: Merle Collins' Angel, by Carolyn Cooper
IV. Invention and Convention: Womanist Gazes on Literary and Critical Traditions
13. Meditations on Her/Story: Maryse Conde's I,Tituba, Black Witch of Salem, and the Slave Narrative Tradition, by Paula C. Barnes
14. Guyana's History, Physical Space and Class Consciousness: The Novels of Beryl Gilroy and Grace Nichols, by Erna Brodber
15. Romantic Fiction as a Subversive Strain in Africana Women's Writing, by Jane Bryse and Kari Dako
16. "A Girl Marries a Monkey": The Folktale as an Expression of Value and Change in Society, by J. N. Opoku-Agyemang
17. Revolutionary Brilliance: The Afrofemcentric Aesthetic, by Zain Muse

Janice Liddell, professor of English and special assistant to the provost at Clark Atlanta University, is the author of several book chapters and of articles in Caribbean Commentary.

Yakini B. Kemp, professor of English at Florida A&M University, is the author of articles in Belles Lettres, CLA Journal, and Obsidian II: Black Literature in Review.

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"An important contribution to the field of Black Woman's Studies."- The French Review
--The French Review

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