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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A must-read for every lover of literature

Title: A Woman’s Voice
Authors: Femrite
Reviewer: Dennis D. Muhumuza 

There are very few Ugandan anthologies of short stories that provide a rich reading experience and A Woman’s Voice is up there among the best. It was first published by the Uganda Women Writers Association (Femrite) in 1998. Owing to the quality of the stories, the copies were snapped up, forcing a reprint the following year and another in 2002.

It clearly is much more than just a collection of 12 stories about the resilience of the Ugandan woman in the face of suffering and prejudice; these stories illuminate our experience and what defines our existence as a people. Oh, how Dr Susan Kiguli’s Mad Apio stirred my emotions! It’s a rippling story of a peculiar woman and the equally peculiar stories surrounding her life and times.

It’s a story weaved deftly; the author has a striking way she uses words and the tone of voice - every paragraph heightens the anticipation. It’s witty, it’s powerful, it’s special; so special that I can’t even bring myself to touching on the antagonisms that drive its central character for I don’t want to spoil it for you reader. So you have to look up the book and read it yourself.

And if you thought Sr Dominic Dipio has no life beyond her feature films and documentaries, you must read Santus. It’s a story of an exceedingly handsome young man whose clandestine affairs with women starkly conflict with his determination to fulfil his priestly ambitions. The story powerfully mirrors the hypocrisy of men and provokes the mind of a reader to wonder how a man of such moral wickedness can still have the nerve to say that his love for priesthood is still stronger than the love for all the women put together!

Lilliane Barenzi’s distinct style comes out strongly in Behind Closed Doors. It’s about a bunch of campus girls preoccupied with gate-crushing affluent parties thrown by the city’s “Who’s who” and the debauchery and destructiveness associated with such self-indulgences.

With stories from other established authors like Hope Keshubi, Ayeta Anne Wangusa, Violet Birungi, Margaret Ntakarimaze, Regina Amollo, Hilda Twongyeirwe and Gorette Kyomuhendo, A Woman’s Voice is a must read for every lover of literature because it is compelling.

--Sunday Monitor, July 18, 2010