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June 17, 2024
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Daughters of Africa

Daughters of Africa by Margaret Busby is the most comprehensive and compelling collection of words and writings by women of African descent through the ages. Arranged chronologically, it charts a new literary canon from the Ancient Egyptian Queen Hatshepsut and the Queen of Sheba, to popular contemporaries such as Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, and Buchi Emecheta. It includes many lesser-known writers and anonymous traditional works that exemplify the oral tradition handed down through the generations. By placing side by side literature and orature from Africa, the Americas, the Caribbean, and Europe, new and exciting links are revealed as the common influences are traced and reclaimed for the first time. This anthology brings together over two hundred women from across the globe – Antigua to Zimbabwe, Angola to the USA – to show the remarkable range of the African diaspora. And besides translations from African languages, it includes work originally written in Dutch, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish.

In addition, to celebrating a unifying heritage, Daughters of Africa testifies to the variety among these women, as demonstrated by the wealth of genres in which they express themselves: autobiography, memoirs, oral history, letters, diaries, short stories, novels (experimental, historical, science fiction), poetry, drama, humor, non-fiction (political, feminist, anthropological), journalism, speeches, essay, and folklore.

Introduced by Margaret Busby and complete with biographical headnotes, annotation, and valuable extensive bibliographies, this unique chronicle of Black women writers throughout the world charts their continuing literary contribution as never before.

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