- Author: Thérèse Kuoh-Moukoury
- Translator: Cheryl Toman
- Pages: xxxiv & 60 pp.
- Published: 2002
- ISBN: 9780873527941 (Paperback)
“This wonderful short novel is an ideal introduction to francophone literature and culture for both undergraduate and graduate students. It is very readable and offers a useful perspective on race and gender in the late colonial period.”
Published in 1969, Essential Encounters is the first novel by a woman of sub-Saharan francophone Africa. Thérèse Kuoh-Moukoury, of Cameroon, wrote it “to inspire other women to write.” Its story of love, infertility, a failed marriage, and adultery looks at both interpersonal connections and national politics from a feminist perspective.
In the introduction the volume editor, Cheryl Toman, provides valuable background with a discussion of African matriarchy, past and present; ethnic groups in Cameroon; interracial relationships; and polygamy as it affects women’s roles in the family and their interaction with one another.