The Family by Buchi Emecheta
A Novel

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A Jamaican girl joins her parents in London at age eleven and makes formidable adjustments and choices to overcome the limitations of her family life.

The story of a young Jamaican girl, Gwendolen Brillianton, who is born into poverty and deserted by her parents when they emigrate to London. Being reunited with her parents and the siblings she has never met does not end her problems, and she realizes she must must fight her family and take control of her own life in order to recover from abuse and take pride in her self. Originally published as Gwendolen.

About Buchi Emecheta

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Buchi Emecheta, 1944 - Native Nigerian writer Buchi Emecheta was born in 1944 near Lagos. She emigrated to London in 1960 where she pursued a career as a social worker and subsisted in the profession for several years. She began to write to fulfill her growing need to express herself artistically and to support her family financially. Her first two novels centered on life in London as a member of the working class. But her true strength as a novelist flourished as she explored her roots and focused upon the psychological impact of African women struggling with timeworn issues of male domination, economic exploitation, racism, and colonialism in twentieth-century Africa. The Joys of Motherhood (1979) is considered by most as her best novel, exploring the life a woman consumed by demands imposed by society upon motherhood. Her novel The Rape of Shavi (1983) concerns the continued exploitation of Africa by European factions. Emecheta continues to live and write in London.
Published March 1, 1990 by George Braziller. 239 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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When Sonia goes back to Jamaica for two years, Gwendolen drops out of school to look after the family, her father sexually molests her, and by the time Sonia returns, Gwendolen is pregnant.

Feb 26 1989 | Read Full Review of The Family: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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Although her characters speak in authentic patois and authoritatively convey the grim travails of a dysfunctional emigre family in England, Emecheta's novel is sapped by polemic and an overkill of disaster.

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