This book represents the first attempt to query the contribution of women as cultural agents to the colonization, the anti-colonial opposition and the decolonization of territories ruled by Portugal in the African continent between the turn of the twentieth century and the early twenty-first. In contrast to the longstanding scholarship on the subject as regards other European empires, the entanglement of gender and colonialism has been ignored in the Portuguese case. Hence, this book takes a long view, surveying mostly little known historical and literary records that evince how "women" and "colonialism" were discursively constructed at particular points in time in view of a colonialist project that became the reason for being of the fascist authoritarian regime (1933-1974). A cultural studies approach of radical contextualization informs each of the five main chapters, in which documents from a range of disciplines are brought to bear on the main problematic of the female-authored works in focus. The latter are all written in the metropole as a place of colonial return and critical reflection. Beyond recuperating women's voices, this book suggests a story of Portuguese colonialism in the African continent that is anything but Lusotropicalist.
“This book tackles the important but much neglected issue of the entanglement of gender and Portuguese colonialism. It is an outstanding study: authoritative, remarkably well researched and beautifully written. The chapters present an elegant mix of literary interpretation and historical fact, leading to the production of a new and much needed synthesis of otherwise disparate material."
Ana Margarida Dias Martins, University of Exeter