Didn’t we agree to share?
- The First Wife by Paulina Chiziane, translated by David Brookshaw
Archipelago, 250 pp, £14.99, August 2016, ISBN 978 0 914671 48 0
In 1990, when she was 35 years old, Paulina Chiziane became the first woman in Mozambique to publish a novel. She has since published six more books, writing in Portuguese, and is one of Mozambique’s most culturally significant writers. In interviews, Chiziane has explained that she has received a lot of criticism for her books from people who think that the women’s lives she depicts aren’t deserving of attention; that the subject matter of a number of her books – women in love, as it were – is decadent, in a country where there is so much development work to be done. But, she corrects, ‘I’m talking about a country where most people are women. We have a rural country made by women. Therefore, the true development of Mozambique is in the hands of women.’ And it is to women she is mainly writing.
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