I found this description of women writers in a book Hannah brought me from Africa. It is a collection of short stories written by women from all over the continent. I know that African women do not experience the freedoms that women in America have, so I know that writing for them must be an even more exhilarating experience…a place to express thoughts and feelings not otherwise given a voice. As for me, I found it a true and powerful portrayal of how I feel when I write.
“If speaking is still difficult to negotiate, then writing has created a free space for most women, much freer than speech. There is less interruption, less immediate, and shocked reaction. The written text is granted its intimacy, its characters, its suspension of disbelief. It surprises in the best carnival way, reducing distances, accepting the least official stance. The book is bound, circulated, read. It retains its autonomy much more than a woman is allowed in the oral situation. Writing offers a moment of intervention. I know the intense risk a woman takes in the sheer effort of writing, placing herself beyond the accepted margin, abandoning the securities of less daunting, much more approved paths. It is an act of courage that she writes and releases those vital secrets. She participates in that birth occurring in the midst of stunned wonder. She is the dreamer and storyteller envisaged with so much idealism, the broken shards come together and the thunder behind her ears subsides.” – Yvonne Vera

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