Born of Ibo parents in Nigeria, Buchi Emecheta is widely known for her multilayered stories of black women struggling to maintain their identity and construct viable lives for themselves and their families. She writes, according to The New York Times, with "subtlety, power, and abundant compassion." Her novels include The Slave Girl, The Family, Bride Price, and The Joys of Motherhood.
The Rape of Shavi
by Buchi Emecheta
Paperback, 178 pages
Set partly in an imaginary country by the edge of the African Sahara and partly in England, The Rape of Shavi creates a humourous, ultimately poignant portrait of a people confronted for the first time with the ways of the civilized world. King Patayon, ruler of Shavi, has more that his shares of trouble already, when from out of the sky a group of "albino aliens" comes crashing down in an enormous "bird of fire". From then on Patayon is faced with the sort of problems that even the most powerful goddesses of the lakes cannot solve. As the albinos and the Shavis are introduced to entirely new forms of language, custom, and exploitation, both are left to wonder just what exactly is "civilization?"