By Gina Wisker (eds.)
This publication incorporates a energetic and large ranging number of severe essays on Black women's writing from Afro-American, African, South African, British and Caribbean novelists, poets, brief tale writers and a dramatist. The members are black and white, male and female, teachers and readers who chart their engagement with and pleasure of the texts of a few of the major figures in black women's writing throughout numerous continents.
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Extra info for Black Women’s Writing
I want a twelve-year-old girl to reach out for and get some information that isn't just contraceptive information but emotional information. 10 Much of the 'emotional information' relayed in For Colored Girls centres on 'interpersonal relations' 11 expressed in the choreopoem through representations of heterosexual relationships, from the postfinishing-high-school defloration in the back of a Buick, to the end of an affair that waz an experiment to see how selfish i cd be if i wd really carry on to snare a possible lover if i waz capable of debasin my self for the love of another.
Christine Bruley talked of the 'difficulties experienced with the language' in connection with the same text. Howard Jennings simply found it 'not as accessible as the novels'. Diane Tonkins said of For Colored Girls that 'the form had not been encountered before'. Unfamiliar forms demand 'active participation' (as Shange desires it of her audience), and this demand may correspondingly reduce the pleasure experienced in reading the text. As any 'experienced' reader of unfamiliar forms, of, say, postmodern 'Writing the Body' 41 texts, will know, the pleasure derived from reading such divergent texts is frequently associated with a process of 'recognition' - seeing the text fit into some pattern after all, being able to relate it to other texts one knows.
It is not the 'dream-come-true', however, which Shange seeks to represent but the relationship between dream and reality, the need to inhabit a particular kind of reality. 19 In For Colored Girls a number of characters live a dream, have an idea of how things might be, but, in the end, typically face reality. Such is the case with the young girl of 'Toussaint': for a while Toussaint L'Ouverture becomes her imaginary companion but in the end she settles for his name-sake, Toussaint Jones, a boy of her own age, living in her time.