In “The Girl Who Can,” the irrepressible Ama Ata Aidoo looks at the roles and rules, and the games people find themselves playing, often unwillingly. She analyses African women’s struggle to find their rightful place in society. Her stories raise issues of choice and conflict, teasing about the issues with disarming frankness. How do people behave in cross-cultural relationships? In the modern world, where a plastic label identifies us, what is our identity? Will African women be in the driving seat in the twenty-first century? With the zest and humour, Aidoo raises these questions and provides some challenging answers.
In this collection of short stories, Aidoo elevates the mundane in women’s lives to an intellectual level in an attempt at challenging patriarchal structures and dominance in African society. Written from a child’s perspective, Aidoo subverts the traditional beliefs and assumptions about the child’s voice. Her inimitable sense of style and eloquence, explores love, marriage and relationships with all the issues they throw up for the contemporary African woman. In doing so, she manages to capture the very essence of womanhood.