This collection is a study of African literature framed by the central, and multi-faceted, idea of 'mother' - motherland, mothertongue, motherwit, motherhood, mothering - looking at the paradoxical location of (m)other as both central and marginal. Whilst the volume stands as a sustained feminist analysis, it engages feminist theory itself by showing how issues in feminism are, in African literature, recast in different and complex ways.

chapter |25 pages


chapter 1|7 pages

Mother’s talk

chapter 2|17 pages

Nervous Conditions

chapter 3|20 pages

Why the Snake-Lizard killed his mother

chapter 4|13 pages

The Eye and the Other

chapter 6|13 pages

Calixthe Beyala’s “femme-fillette”

chapter 7|16 pages

Bound to matter

chapter 8|17 pages

MotherTongues and childless women

chapter 9|15 pages

Ontological victimhood

chapter 10|30 pages

Urban spaces, women’s places

chapter 11|14 pages

Reconstructing motherhood

chapter 12|23 pages

Geographies of pain