Abstract—Buchi Emecheta is one of Nigeria’s early prominent female writers. Her legacy has created a path of inspiration for contemporary Nigerian women writers. This paper intends to analyze her oeuvres, focusing on the varied womanist representations of Nigerian female characters. As such, a detailed qualitative examination of Emecheta’s works, particularly The Joys of Motherhood (1979), Kehinde (1994) and The Family (1990) reveal Nigerian female characters who challenge prescribed understandings of their roles as ‘woman’, ‘wife’ and ‘mother.’ Nnu Ego, Kehinde, Nko and Gwendolen are womanist representations of Nigerian female characters who achieve their agency, subjectivity and determination through redefining their responsibilities as ‘women’, ‘wives’, and ‘mothers’. As such, Emecheta’s female characterizations establish a tradition of women, who are strong, self-willed and empowered despite their varied circumstances, a portrayal worthy of emulation.
Index Terms—Buchi Emecheta, womanist, female representation, Nigerian women’s literature.
Shalini Nadaswaran is with School of English, Media and Performing Arts, Sydney, Australia. (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Cite: Shalini Nadaswaran, "The Legacy of Buchi Emecheta in Nigerian Women’s Fiction," International Journal of Social Science and Humanity vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 146-150, 2012.