This essay undertakes a gendered analysis of Mabel Dove-Danquah’s fiction within the context of nationalist Ghanaian literature. Dove-Danquah and her contemporaries who wrote during the late nineteenth to early twentieth century portrayed almost all the ideas and ideology of modern African thought and many of the themes, modes, and techniques found in African literature today. Moreover, through their preoccupation with nationhood, race consciousness, and African cultural integrity, they announced Ghana’s intellectual independence decades before the end of colonial rule. However, Dove-Danquah stands out among this group as a writer whose fiction not only challenged colonial and racial legacies but also called into question male value systems that denied female subjectivity, and envisioned a “new woman” who could challenge them. The essay analyzes Dove-Danquah’s portraits of this “new woman” in her largely unpublished collection of short stories, “Sketches of Life,” to bring out her contribution to gender identity in Ghanaian literature.

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