The relationship between Africa and the West is the subject of this speculative tale by Buchi Emecheta.
A group of Europeans fleeing a nuclear holocaust, crash-land in the west African kingdom of Shavi, presenting King Patayon and his people with a set of problems that not even Ogene, the all-powerful goddess of the lakes is able to resolve. With the voice of an accomplished story teller, Nigerian born Buchi Emecheta has created a moving story set partly in Britain and partly in an imaginary country on the fringes of the Sahara.
In “The Rape of Shavi (1983), Emecheta’s most unusual work… The arrival of a group of Europeans fleeing from nuclear holocaust … is the fictional pretext to investigate the infringement of African culture and customs through Western intrusion. The violence implied in the title has therefore a more collective and metaphoric meaning than in other Emecheta’s works, as an entire country rather than a single woman is raped.” Luca Prono, 2013
“A gentle, perfectly constructed fable…wise, moving, subtle and profound” San Francisco Chronicle
“a very good story artfully told: the rational provoking arguments about multi-racial societies and military law, are dropped into the narrative with a natural, unobtrusive cunning, rare in modern fiction.” London Review of Books
“provocative storytelling” New York Times
Emecheta’s prose is “like that of a community singer of tales…steeped in the tradition of a difficult rural life” New York Times Book Review
“Emecheta’s dystopian fable pits Western and African forms of feminism against each other, in order to determine how far feminism may go in Africa, and what might be its most productive relation to African traditions.” John Hopkins University Press