House of Falling Women, the debut novel of Cameroonian writer Rosemary Ekosso has been nominated for the Aidoo-Snyder Book Prize.
Other nominees include Kenyan novelist Wambui Githiora for her book Wanjira; Valerie Tagwira of Zimbabwe for The Uncertainty of Hope; Amma Darko of Ghana for Not Without Flowers; Kopano Matlwa of South Africa for Coconut.
The Aidoo-Snyder Book Prize is awarded annually by the Women’s Caucus of the African Studies Association (ASA) for an outstanding book published by a woman that prioritizes African women’s experiences. Named in honor of Ama Ata Aidoo, the celebrated Ghanaian novelist and short-story writer, and Margaret Snyder, the founding Director of UNIFEM, this award will be given during the 2010 ASA annual meetings in San Francisco at the Women’s Caucus Annual Lecture and Luncheon. Every fifth year the prize is given for a creative work, this year the Aidoo-Snyder Book Prize will be awarded for a novel.
This year’s Aidoo-Snyder Book Prize Selection Committee is comprised of Book Prize co-Chairs, Dr. Natasha Gordon-Chipembere (Medgar Evers College, CUNY) and Dr. Alice Horner (Northern Essex Community College, MA), and Women’s Caucus co-Chair, Dr. Angela Leonard (Loyola University Maryland).
Published by Langaa RPCIG, House of Falling Women is a poignant, often hilarious story of the search by a group of women for a new place in society in a world where women are dissatisfied with the old values and bewildered by the new.
In a recent interview, Ekosso explained that she wrote the novel because "I have felt increasingly strongly that there is something about African women my age that ought to be said, and said in a way that highlights the dilemmas we face in these times. There are things we ought to talk about, and my aim in writing this book is to help trigger a debate about how our role has changed with the times."
"At once shrewd and compassionate, funny and inspiring, Rosemary Ekosso's first novel is both a devastating critique of prevailing attitudes to women in her native Cameroon, and a recognition of the universal sexual interdependency that makes the struggle for equality so complex. Sympathetic characters and an intriguing plot make this an essential read for those concerned with women's aspirations both within and outside Africa."
"House of Falling Women is a powerful story about the oppressive weight and irrationality of tradition, gender and class inequality, a desperate yearning for freedom and dignity, and a journey of self discovery, empowerment, and redemption."