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She Called Me Woman

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  148 ratings  ·  33 reviews
“We put together this collection of thirty narratives to correct the invisibility, the confusion, the caricaturising and the writing out of queer women from history.”

This stirring and intimate collection brings together 30 captivating narratives to paint a vivid portrait of what it means to be a queer Nigerian woman. Covering an array of experiences - the joy and exciteme
Paperback, 344 pages
Published April 26th 2018 by Cassava Republic Press (first published 2018)
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Average rating 3.96  · 
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Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book gets 5 stars simply for existing. It’s a HUGE HUGE accomplishment and a sign of the possibility of a Nigerian society where queer folks can feel safe. Not there yet but the sheer effort that went in to creating this book, increasing visibility and speaking especially for all the young people who have not seen themselves represented anywhere without the story of misery as inevitable, is staggering. Alhamdulillah and congratulations to all the contributors and editors.
Jul 26, 2018 rated it liked it
A very brave endeavour that suffers hugely from under editing. These thirty stories-often shocking, moving, effecting-need to have been given shape by a strong editor, to streamline the narratives and focus on the most important aspects. As it stands, these accounts often read as if they are being transcribed directly from conversation or are cut together from answers to posed to pre-written questions. Unfortunately giving someone a voice in publishing does not simply mean writing down what they ...more
Marie Ainomugisha
Jul 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
A monumental assemblage of queer and trans women’s lived experiences engaging with the reception of their respective identities in Nigeria’s ultra-religious, patriarchal, transphobic, homophobic society.

A number of the stories start out painfully, and since the contributors were tasked to describe the impacts of Nigeria’s Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Law on their lives and communities, a number of them end quite painfully as well.

Regardless, there were stories filled with drama, cultural knowl
Lauren Ames
Feb 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What an incredible anthology! Each narrator shared their story of growing up queer in Nigeria with so much heart, and the book includes such a wide range of experiences. Some people’s reviews criticized the style in which the stories were written, citing lack of editing, but I felt in this context that leaving the stories in a conversational style lended to how powerfully authentic and intimate it felt. Beautiful project, lifting up queer women’s voices in a country where they are often silenced ...more
Nov 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbt
I am so glad that a book like this exists and even more glad that I had a chance to read it! While there were personal opinions from some of the authors of the essays that I disagreed with, and some essays were better done than others, I think the collection really did what it set out to do and that it's a worthwhile read for anyone interested in it.
Jul 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
It's both great and slightly problematic that the testimonies are not commented upon. Food for thought, definitely.
Devon H
Sep 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is a collection of personal narratives from queer Nigerian women. First of all, I want to say I am so impressed with the subject matter. Queer Nigerian women are sharing their stories in this book, and they are not shying away from difficult subject matter. They are sharing their rapes, forced marriages, assault, and more in these pages. These women are inspiring, because reading their stories, I feel as though so many of them have forgiven those that have wronged them, even if they ha ...more
A book like this cannot be rated on a scale because its importance far outweighs any personal preference the reader may have regarding its purpose/content. That said, I offer no rating at all because, at least for me, where I was taken in by the bravery of each personal account, I was put off by their presentation: overly long, sometimes repetitive, and often suffering from a lack of editing.

It may seem like nitpicking to point that out but it makes a difference.

When you're reading stories tha
Feb 10, 2019 rated it liked it
I struggled to finish this book but not due to it's content. These stories need telling in their whole entirety and the book in my view only half achieves this by getting these peoples voices heard in the first place. To be an enjoyable read it needed better editing. The style of writing made each story melt into the next one, it felt very much like a question and answer session without the questions being printed.
Whilst i can see what was trying to be achieved with this book i didn't enjoy it a
Jun 09, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 stars!!

So here’s the thing with this book. If you can get past some of the narrators ridiculous mentality then it’ll be an enjoyable reading experience for you. Imagine one saying she will basically meet and lie to women, another saying she feels Nigerians are judgmental but then goes ahead and say ridiculous things about queer women who drink,smoke, have tattoos and piercings. Oh another one said she wants to have mixed race kids because she wants her kids to be fine. Oh the ignorance was
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was such a blessing. It really shows the nuances of life for queer women in Nigeria and how wildly difference peoples' experiences are. I recommend this to everyone, especially white people. It will dispel so many myths about queerness and Africa, particularly Nigeria.
Jherane Patmore
May 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: african-lit
Cassava Republic Press does not miss.
KL Baudelaire
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I truly loved this book. A fascinating, engaging, moving and enlightening read. The variety of voices is so valuable, spanning different ages, classes and social groups. And it feels very timely - published four years after Nigeria's Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Act. I'd recommend it to anyone interested in LGBT issues, and anyone interested in the human condition. Please read this.
May 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
A book of this sort has been long overdue.

The main focus being the trials and tribulations of being a queer woman in Nigeria and navigating life whilst also existing at the different religious and cultural intersections.
I enjoyed reading about lived experiences in the words of these women - ranging from trans women, Nigerian women in the diaspora, Christians, Muslims, atheists etc.

To quote Arundhati Roy, 'There's really no such thing as the voiceless. There are only the deliberately silenced,
Mitchell Walker
May 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I went back and forth on what to rate this book. I think the stories and content are really important and powerful and I am thankful to have had the opportunity to read stories from a marginalized viewpoint from multiple intersections I will not experience myself. Especially not often hearing stories of Queer women of colour, let alone this many in one text.

However, the way the stories are presented in this text are very formulaic in how the 25 interviews are almost scribed word for word in orde
Aug 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"Loving another person and that person loving me back - I do not see how that is a bad thing. If you kill somebody, steal from somebody or do something without a person's consent, then that is wrong. But love is not wrong."

"The best part of being in a relationship is having some to talk to and disturb. Having a person you can call when you see something random on the road, when you are sad, or just having someone who understands you, to an extent, and takes your bullshit."

"I do not think there i
As much as these personal stories are important and it’s shedding light on voices we probably have never come across before; it was difficult to get through because of the writing style. I’m not sure whether it’s a translation issue or the interview questions or that the text doesn’t look like it’s been edited, but the writing was very clunky and dry.

There’s a lot of internalized sexism and misogyny in these stories and trying to enforce hetero gender norms even when some of the writers say the
Jun 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The fact that this book exists alone earns it a five star. I wish I could hug all the woman including the editors.
Of course the editing and arrangement could have been done better, it doesn't shadow the fact that we have a book like this in Nigeria.
I learnt so much, I have a reply to homophobes who ask why I support the LGBTQ+(it's a quote from the book) that'll leave them speechless.
And the need for this kind of representation can't be overemphasized. I'm so glad I read this book and finished
Wangu Kariru
Jun 04, 2019 rated it liked it
I give this book 3.5/5

I enjoyed it for the most part. And the fact that it was bringing light to the lives of queer Nigerian women. Only issue was the writing style. It seemed like the ladies were interviewed using the same questionnaire and their answers typed out. So as much as their experiences were different the uniqueness of their lives didn’t get captured too well.
Great insight though.
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have an advance copy of the paperback. Anyway: This anthology of 25 first-person essays is lovely and expanding. Nigerian women who are queer wrote essays on the theme of being all that--female, queer, Nigerian. By expanding I mean that my life in a big city in the U.S. moved a bit to the African continent, as lives do when we read.
Dec 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtq-african
It was really eye opening to learn about the experiences of queer women in Nigeria. The writers were really brave to share these stories.

It was hard to get through some of the trauma in the stories. And some of them were inconsistent (which the writers highlighted in the beginning). It’s still a good read though.
Aug 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
An excellent insight into what it is to be a queer woman in a country where it is criminalised and discriminated against, as well as non-western expressions and experiences of queerness.
At times hard-hitting and difficult to read, this is a necessary part of the conversation we still need to have today about building a world that is tolerant and accepting.
Sep 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was long overdue and is very interesting to read. I would caution bisexual readers to prepare themselves for a number of women to express quite biphobic views - as a bisexual reader that was difficult to move past. But overall it is a very worthy book and I would love to see more.
Nov 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
No frills, romantising or sugar coating. This is just real life and it has blown my sheltered mind.
Apr 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book get five stars from me
Zakariyya Abdulrahman
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Have not read it yet how would read it after compliting all procedure?
Mills College Library
306.7663 S5391 2018
Mar 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
lgbt nigerians i love u
Aisha (thatothernigeriangirl)
Apr 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
4 stars ✨

She Called Me Woman is a collection of interviews given by 25 individuals, Nigerians/ with Nigerian backgrounds, who identify as ‘queer’ and ‘woman’. Although I agree that this book is already gold just for being the first of its kind, I think its real beauty lies in its portrayal of queer individuals as just ‘individuals’ whose day-to-day struggles are amplified by their being ‘queer’.

Each interview evokes a series of emotions from me; usually sadness, empathy, smiles, and deep though
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