At the dawn of the twenty-first century, villages in the Fang region of northern Gabon must grapple with the clash of tradition and the evolution of customs throughout modern Africa. With this tension in the background, the passionate, deft, and creative seamstress Awu marries Obame, after he and his beloved wife, Bella, have been unable to conceive. Because all three are reluctant participants in this arrangement, theirs is an emotionally fraught existence. Through heartbreaking and disastrous events, Awu grapples with long-standing Fang customs that counter her desire to take full control of her life and home.
Supplemented with a foreword and critical introduction highlighting Justine Mintsa’s importance in African literature, Awu’s Story is an essential work of African women’s writing and the only published work to meditate this deeply on some of the Fang’s most cherished legends and oral history.
Justine Mintsa (Oyem, 8 September 1949) is a Gabonese writer and member of the Fang people. She is the third child of twelve siblings. She earned her doctorate in English Literature from the University of Rouen in 1977. She is a member of the Haut Conseil de la francophonie. She was the first African woman to publish a novel with Éditions Gallimard, in Paris.