The influence of colonialism and race on the development of African literature has been the subject of a number of studies. The effect of patriarchy and gender, however, and indeed the contributions of African women, have up until now been largely ignored by the critics. Contemporary African Literature and the Politics of Gender is the first extensive account of African literature from a feminist perspective.In this first radical and exciting work Florence Stratton outlines the features of an emerging female tradition in African fiction. A chapter is dedicated to each to the works of four women writers: Grace Ogot, Flora Nwapa, Buchi Emecheta and Mariama Ba. In addition she provides challenging new readings of canonical male authors such as Chinua Achebe, Ngugi wa Thiongo'o and Wole Soyinka. Contemporary African Literature and the Politics of Gender thus provides the first truly comprehensive definition of the current literary tradition in Africa.