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Coming to birth

Author: Marjorie Oludhe Macgoye
Publisher: New York : Feminist Press at the City University of New York, [2000], ©1986.
Series: Women writing Africa series.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Fiction : English : 1st Feminist Press edView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Macgoye interweaves the story of one young woman's tumultuous coming of age with the history of a nation emerging from colonialism." "At the age of sixteen, Paulina leaves her small, traditional Luo village in western Kenya to join her new husband, Martin Were, in the bustling, multitribal city of Nairobi. It is 1956, and Kenya is in the final days of the Emergency as the British seek to suppress violent  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Bildungsromans
Feminist fiction
Fiction
Historical fiction
Material Type: Fiction
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Marjorie Oludhe Macgoye
ISBN: 155861253X 9781558612532 1558612491 9781558612495
OCLC Number: 44777248
Notes: Originally published: Nairobi : Heinemann, 1986. With afterword and historical context.
Awards: "1986 winner of the International Sinclair Prize for fiction"
Description: 198 pages ; 23 cm.
Series Title: Women writing Africa series.
Responsibility: Marjorie Oludhe Macgoye ; afterword by J. Roger Kurtz ; historical context by Jean Hay.

Abstract:

"Macgoye interweaves the story of one young woman's tumultuous coming of age with the history of a nation emerging from colonialism." "At the age of sixteen, Paulina leaves her small, traditional Luo village in western Kenya to join her new husband, Martin Were, in the bustling, multitribal city of Nairobi. It is 1956, and Kenya is in the final days of the Emergency as the British seek to suppress violent anti-colonial revolts." "Paulina knows little about politics and even less about city life. On her second day in Nairobi, she is naive enough to think she can easily find her way home across the vast city, as she always could in her village. Her traumatic journey, which in fact takes two days and two nights, earns her a beating from Martin. Marriage, too, is new to Paulina, and while she is anxious to learn the ways of a proper wife, Martin's clumsy attempts to control her soon lead to a relationship filled with silences, misunderstandings, and unfulfilled expectations." "Soon Paulina's inability to bear a child effectively banishes her from the confines of a traditional woman's life. As her country at last moves toward independence, Paulina manages to achieve a kind of independence as well. She accepts a job, teaching women at a community center, which will require her to live separately from her husband, and she has an affair that leads to the birth of her first child. But Paulina's hard-won contentment shatters when Kenya's turbulent history intrudes once again into her private life, bringing with it tragedy - and a new test of her quiet courage and determination." "Taking in real events and historical figures as well as the inner journey of one remarkable woman, this vision extends to embrace the whole of a nation and a people likewise struggling to find their way." "For course use in: African literature, family studies, postcolonial literature, women's literature, women's studies, world literature."--Jacket.

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