Is Zaynab Alkali Merely A Feminist Writer? An Appraisal Of The Stillborn And The Virtuous Woman

Amase, Emmanuel Lanior, Tsavmbu Aondover Alexis, Kaan, Aondover Theophilus


Many African literary critics seem to have some preconceived notions about female writers. Consequently, there has been indiscriminate branding of some female writers either as feminists or female chauvinists. This portrays them as incapable of addressing other topical issues of national interest other than those that affect the women directly. In this paper therefore, we have undertaken an appraisal of Zainab Alkali’s The Stillborn and The Virtuous Woman to buttress our position that the issues in her novels transcend gender imbalance. The paper examines Alkal’s treatment of the clash of westernisation, tradition and city life, political mal-administration, poor infrastructure as well as the challenging environment of the emerging cities. These are issues, which we believe, affect both male and female. The paper advocates a broader look at texts rather than the emphasis on the feminist angle in the interpretation of works by female authors at the expense of probably more important issues.



Feminism, Feminists, gender, culture

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Achebe C. (2000). Anthills of the Savannah. Heinemann Educational Books (Nigeria) Plc.

Alkali, Z. (1984). The Stillborn. Lagos, Longman.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ (1985). The Virtuous Woman. Nigeria, Longman.

Allison, J (2013). “What Is Feminist Literature?” Posted on Jan 17, 2011 in Feminism, Gender, Literature accessed Wednesday 3rd July, 2013.

Azuike, M. N. (2003). “A Radical Feminist Approach to the Works of Zaynab Alkali”. A Thesis in the Department of English, University of Jos – Nigeria, December.



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