Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Ama Ata Aidoo | Changes: A Love Story

From Publishers Weekly

Aidoo ( Our Sister Killjoy or Reflections from a Black-Eyed Squint ) writes with intense power in a novel that, in examining the role of women in modern African society, also sheds light on women's problems around the globe. Esi, a woman living in Accra, Ghana, takes her career as a data analyst for the government seriously. An incident of marital rape, the result of her husband's anger at Esi's independence, leads to their separation. She is attracted to a married man named Ali who offers to make her his second wife. At first the arrangement appeals to Esi--she can make her work a priority--but eventually Ali's constant traveling and the way he puts off coming to see her begins to bother her. Aidoo makes use of different formats. Occasionally she provides an explanation in the form of a poetic note embedded in the text, and there are spurts of conversation in script form. In one such section Esi's mother and grandmother discuss her choice. Esi's no-nonsense grandmother says, "Leave one man, marry another. What is the difference?" Tuzyline Jita Allan, who teaches English at Baruch College, CUNY, provides an afterword that places Aidoo's work in a historical context and helps introduce this remarkable writer. First serial to Ms.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Despite its African setting, Changes mirrors universal feminist conflicts and concerns. Longtime friends and professional women Esi and Opokuya, who have been dealing differently with family issues, make attempts to juggle their many obligations to their husbands, their children, and their careers. Nevertheless, their sexist husbands, who are impervious to the feminist thinking of their wives, remain unsympathetic. Esi finally makes a statement by choosing divorce, career, and a polygamous remarriage--which ultimately becomes an exchange of one set of challenges for another. Prize-winning Ghanaian-born author Aidoo takes a satirical look at modern women and points out similarities in their lives--whether in Africa or anywhere else. Recommended for women's studies as well as general adult fiction collections.
- Ellen R. Cohen, Rockville, Md.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

An informative, if a tad schematic, novel from Ghanaian writer Aidoo (Our Sister Killjoy, etc.--not reviewed) about women's identities and needs in contemporary Africa. The Stunning Esi Sekyi is, in fact, the very model of a modern African woman. She has a postgraduate degree, works for the department of statistics in Accra, and earns more than her schoolmaster husband Oku. And with only one child, she is free to travel to international conferences and advance her career. But African society and African men--despite their admiration of intelligent, educated women--still cling to the old ways. When Oku makes love to Esi against her will (his friends are laughing at him because ``they think I'm not behaving like a man''), Esi calls it ``marital rape''--a concept, she realizes, that African ``society could not possibly have an indigenous word for...[since] sex is something a husband claims from his wife as a right.'' She asks for a divorce, much to her family's dismay, and begins an affair with charismatic businessman Ali Kondey. Meanwhile, an old friend, Opukuya, a married nurse and mother, tries to be supportive, but she's torn between her conventional ideas about marriage and the realization that she envies Esi's freedom. Though Ali is married, he is a Muslin and can have more than one wife. And so he and Esi marry--a curiously old-fashioned decision for an apparently modern woman, since Ali spends more time with his other family than he does with Esi. Finally, the two drift apart, and Esi is left to wonder ``what fashion of loving was she ever going to consider adequate.'' Esi seems more foolish than victimized, but the attitudes of the society portrayed here are real enough--and do add a new dimension to an otherwise familiar story. (First serial to Ms. Magazine) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Changes explores the complex world in which the lives of professional working women have changed sharply, but the cultural assumptions of men’s lives have not. Witty and compelling, Aidoo’s novel, according to Manthia Diawara, "inaugurates a new realist style in African literature."

"Aidoo writes with intense power in a novel that, in examining the role of women in modern African society, also sheds light on women’s problems around the globe."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Suggested for course use in:
African literature
African studies
Family Studies

Ama Ata Aidoo, one of Ghana’s most distinguished writers, is the author of two other works of fiction, Our Sister Killjoy and No Sweetness Here (The Feminist Press), as well as plays, poems, and children’s books. Tuzyline Jita Allan is associate professor of English at Baruch College, CUNY.

About the Author

Ama Ata Aidoo is a native of Ghana, Wet Africa, where she has been Minister of Education and an activist for human rights, women's rights, and African unity. One of Africa's most distinguished writers, she is the author of fiction, poetry, drama, essays, and political and cultural commentary.

Product Details:

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: The Feminist Press at CUNY; 1 edition (November 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558610650
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558610651
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces

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