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Of Real Freedom and Gender Equality: A Re-appraisal of Zaynab Alkalis The Stillborn

Ismail Bala Garba


With the potent weapon of feminism and other eclectic theoretical considerations, Udu Yakubu (2001:152-167) castigates Nigerian women writers Alkali inclusive for failing to reconstruct womens sexuality, in what he calls an overwhelming atmosphere of real freedom and gender equality, while Anthonia Yakubu (1996:115-122) sees Alkalis women characters, especially, as essentially incomplete. Over the years Alkali fiercely resists being labelled a feminist, seeing it as simply deceptive, while revealing herself as merely a writer, who just happens to write about women. This paper, seeks to re-appraise Alkalis The Still Born (1984) in the light of this feminist onslaught, and her resistance of it. It concludes, from a reconsideration of feminist theory and how Alkalis novel is caught in it, that Alkali fails to solve the contradiction raised in the book. The paper as such upholds the feminist critique of the book as failing short of even Alkalis much-vaunted intention.

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JENdA: A Journal of Culture and African Women Studies. ISSN: 1530-5686 (online).
Editors: Nkiru Nzegwu; Book Editor: Mary Dillard.

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