DOUBLE YOKE by Buchi Emecheta

DOUBLE YOKE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The ""double yoke"" is the one on today's African women--with modern and traditional attitudes clashing in this latest, lightest novel from didactic writer Emecheta. Ete Kamba, educated pride of his parents and his village, a ""would-be man of importance"" now on scholarship at Nigeria's U. of Calabar, wonders if the new female lecturer in Creative Writing is going to be one of those female ""pushful"" types. But Miss Bulewao (Emecheta's mouthpiece) turns out to be just like an ordinary farmer's wife, ""a mum""--whom Ete politely guides with a torch when the university lights and fans go off. And, for Miss Bulewao, Ete writes the story of his relationship with Nko, student from a neighboring village. They meet at a party for a girl who has passed her hair-dressing exam. Nko is appealing--but perhaps too educated, not quiet and submissive enough. Still, propelled by not-to-be denied lust, Ete leads Nko away one day and forces himself upon her. . . but why doesn't she object? And how can he now marry someone not a virgin? Ete calls Nko a prostitute, beats her--but, realizing how miserable Ete is, Nko still loves him. Then, enter nefarious Professor Ikot, to whom Ete tells all; and soon it's Ikot with whom Nko must make love--or she'll fail in her classes. So it all ends with Ikot beaten to a pulp, Nko pregnant but newly tough and sure of her priorities. . . and Ete and his friends on the receiving end of a firm, motherly lecture by Miss Bulewao on behalf of the ""new African lady."" A bit wobbly in expression, cheerily naive--but a warmly convincing immersion in Nigerian village/university life, with engaging young folk and an exotic version of African lib.

Pub Date: Sept. 2nd, 1983
ISBN: 080761128X
Publisher: Braziller