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She Called Me Woman, by Azeenarh Mohammed, Chitra Nagarajan, Rafeeat Aliyu.

October 7, 2018

She Called Me Woman
She Called Me Woman,  by Azeenarh Mohammed, Chitra Nagarajan, Rafeeat Aliyu. Cassava Republic Press, 2018.

Forthcoming September 2018

4 stars

An anthology of touching stories by queer women in Nigeria about their personal struggles and their joy.

Azeenarh Mohammed, Chitra Nagarajan, and Rafeeat Aliyu are all Nigerian women involved in different ways in research and activism involving women’s rights, sexuality, and the lives of queer women.  They have collected and edited twenty-five stories by and about queer women in Nigeria, a place where such women are largely invisible.

The narratives vary widely, but all are told from within an environment of fear, from a place where the lives they have chosen are not socially acceptable or legally accepted.  They tell of the joys and pains of their lives and how they have negotiated ways to be the women they believe they are meant to be.  They not only write about their sexuality, they also describe those women who have lovingly supported and enabled their choices.

The stories in She Called Me Woman are moving and a welcome perspective on what it means to be queer, not only in Nigeria, but anywhere.  I am glad to recommend this book to many readers.

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