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Women Writing Africa, Volume 3
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AMANDINA LIHAMBA is a performer and director for stage and screen productions. She has published plays and many articles on theatre, culture and politics, and gender and communication. She is a professor in the department of fine and performing arts at the University of Dar es Salaam, where she teaches theatre practice and art for social mobilization.

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Women Writing Africa, Volume III

The Eastern Region
Amandina Lihamba

Edited by Amandina Lihamba, Fulata L. Moyo, M.M. Mulokozi, Naomi L. Shitemi, and Saida Yahya-Othman

A pioneering work of cultural reclamation more than a decade in preparation, Women Writing Africa, Volume 3: The Eastern Region collects more than a 100 texts dating back to 1711, each introduced with short notes. In the 1960s, the five countries represented—Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia—achieved independence. Women made historic contributions in the resistance struggles and later during the process of development, as entries from activists and eloquent members of parliament attest.

The volume boasts entries of uncommon historical interest including two rare texts by former slave women; a 1711 letter written by a woman who ruled a large Muslim domain; a mid-19th-century Muslim epic poem, freshly translated; a Christian hymn dating to 1890; and a memoir by a Mau Mau general. The 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Lecture by Wangari Maathai, the first environmentalist and the first African woman named a Nobel laureate, concludes the volume.

While Kiswahili is the dominant language of the region, along with English, thierty-one other languages have been translated for the volume. Motherhood, education, religion, workforce participation, widows’ rights, prostitution, polygamy, circumcision, rebellion, and HIV/AIDS are some of the subjects examined in fiction, poetry, letters, journalism, oral histories, speeches, and historical documents spanning three centuries.

"The third volume from the Women Writing Africa Project makes a significant contribution to the study of African literature. . . . The editors' lucid introduction usefully contextualizes these wonderful writings, and this volume will be especially welcome in college classrooms. General readers who want to be entertained, educated and chastened about women's struggles and triumphs in east Africa will delight in this literary feast."

Publishers Weekly

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