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This landmark bilingual collection--the result of ten years of research, collection, editing, and translation--offers readers of English and French entry into a flourishing and essential genre of contemporary African literature.

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A Rain of Words is a groundbreaking book that will undoubtedly make a major contribution to the fields of African, women's, francophone, literary, and translation studies. This superb anthology not only fills a void but will stimulate interest in the genre of poetry as well.

Issue 2 » African Studies Quarterly » University of Florida

The range of countries and generations included in this project is astounding. A Rain of Words is an important document and resource, since it represents the compilation and reclamation of valuable, rare literary production.

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In addition, it responds to two real needs: locating and foregrounding poetry by women and by African women, and making these voices accessible through translation to a wider public. Janis A. University of Virginia Press P.

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Some are established writers; others are only beginning to publish their work. Almost none of the poems here have been published outside of Africa or Europe or been previously translated into English.

Francophone African Women Writers

The poems are accompanied by brief biographies of the poets. Mayes discussing language politics, the cultural contexts within which the poetry emerges, and literary translation strategies, and an extensive bibliography. This landmark bilingual collection--the result of ten years of research, collection, editing, and translation--offers readers of English and French entry into a flourishing and essential genre of contemporary African literature. A Rain of Words is a groundbreaking book that will undoubtedly make a major contribution to the fields of African, women's, francophone, literary, and translation studies.

This superb anthology not only fills a void but will stimulate interest in the genre of poetry as well.


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The range of countries and generations included in this project is astounding. A Rain of Words is an important document and resource, since it represents the compilation and reclamation of valuable, rare literary production. In addition, it responds to two real needs: locating and foregrounding poetry by women and by African women, and making these voices accessible through translation to a wider public.