The Girl Who Can (African Writers Series)

ISBN: 0435910132
ISBN 13: 9780435910136
By: Ama Ata Aidoo

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1 1920s African Authors African Writers Series Currently Reading Ghana School Books Short Stories Short Story To Read

About this book

In "The Girl Who Can," the irrepressible Ama Ata Aidoo looks at the roles and rules, and the games people find themselves playing, often unwillingly. She analyses African women's struggle to find their rightful place in society. Her stories raise issues of choice and conflict, teasing about the issues with disarming frankness. How do people behave in cross-cultural relationships? In the modern world, where a plastic label identifies us, what is our identity? Will African women be in the driving seat in the twenty-first century? With the zest and humour, Aidoo raises these questions and provides some challenging answers.In this collection of short stories, Aidoo elevates the mundane in women's lives to an intellectual level in an attempt at challenging patriarchal structures and dominance in African society. Written from a child's perspective, Aidoo subverts the traditional beliefs and assumptions about the child's voice. Her inimitable sense of style and eloquence, explores love, marriage and relationships with all the issues they throw up for the contemporary African woman. In doing so, she manages to capture the very essence of womanhood.

Reader's Thoughts


Classic West African feminism in folky but modern stories. I passed the book along to my partner with the suggestion that this is Buchi Emecheta's The Joys of Motherhood in small doses.

Jerome Kuseh

Ama Ata Aidoo presents a collection of short stories which portrays the lives of women in traditional, colonial and post colonial settings. She writes insightfully about the effects of colonialism, drawing parallels between the past and the future and seamlessly moving through different time periods. She gives prominence to the role of the grandmother, which is not very common. The way in which Aidoo shows traditional gender roles is authentic, and something I can easily relate with as a Ghanaian.Add the beautiful writing style which sometimes breaks into poetry and is peppered with local words and proverbs and you have a truly compelling read. Definitely a 5 star collection.


A collection of short stories by a Ghanaian author. Some of them I absolutely loved, especially the title story and Choosing.

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