Tuesday, May 27, 2008

House of Falling Women by Rosemary Ekosso

Rosemary E. Ekosso. House of Falling Women. Cameroon. Langaa Publishers, May 2008. 328 pages. Available on Amazon.com, African Books Collective and Michigan State University Press.

House of Falling Women is the story of a young woman with quixotic ideas about improving the lot of women who finds out that that the crusader’s cloak is an uncomfortable one.

Martha Elive, armed with a university education and a substantial legacy from a Dutchwoman she meets while studying abroad on a scholarship, decides to create an institute for the empowerment of women, only to find that the contradictions to be resolved are more firmly anchored in her psyche than elsewhere. In addition to her unexorcised ghosts and the legacies of a chequered love life, she has to contend with recalcitrant public opinion and moral inertia, the opposition of old-guard reactionaries, and the incomprehension of her small-town parents.

House of Falling Women is a poignant, often hilarious story of the search by a group of women for a new place in society in a world where women are dissatisfied with the old values and bewildered by the new.

"At once shrewd and compassionate, funny and inspiring, Rosemary Ekosso's first novel is both a devastating critique of prevailing attitudes to women in her native Cameroon, and a recognition of the universal sexual interdependency that makes the struggle for equality so complex. Sympathetic characters and an intriguing plot make this an essential read for those concerned with women's aspirations both within and outside Africa."
Susana Mitchell

"House of Falling Women is a powerful story about the oppressive weight and irrationality of tradition, gender and class inequality, a desperate yearning for freedom and dignity, and a journey of self discovery, empowerment, and redemption."
Dibussi Tande

Rosemary Ekosso is a Cameroonian translator and court interpreter. She lives and works in the Netherlands. She blogs at http://www.ekosso.com/

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