Author: Wayne

The Woman King: A Book of the Year

The Woman King: A Book of the Year

Opinion: What calls to boycott ‘The Woman King’ are really saying?

The ‘The Woman King’


The Woman King is a powerful and moving book detailing the life and times of a great, and I would assert noble, Nigerian artiste.

It takes in a wide range of subjects with equal breadth, including personal relationships, social commentary and cultural and artistic commentary, including art (an aesthetic), politics, religion, music and more. It is in this vein that the book becomes a compelling read, bringing the reader on an emotional journey into the life and times of a remarkable female artist, and more importantly her art.

But where the writing falters is in the attempt to get a straight line from the text to the boycott, and by extension the ‘unfair’ actions of those who are using it for their own purposes.

There are a number of issues that the publisher, HarperCollins, have had problems with. It appears in this case that the publisher have had to fight back, first by removing critical and commercial excerpts in the text, and more importantly, by seeking ‘dismissal’ of the book at the end and a change in the author’s original title, ‘The Woman King’.

The Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited (2014)

The text was originally titled ‘The Woman King’, but now it is titled ‘The Woman Artist’ following the author’s original title. And yes, I am aware that by removing a word and replacing it with a more fitting title, changes can be made to a book just like the artist may have changed his name, but I doubt the authors name changes for them. The author’s name is what they think sells, not necessarily what people may read.

The author’s description of her book and the title are, however, similar.

“The Woman King: A Novel of the Art of Femme Fatale” is a story that captures the essence of our culture’s obsession with gender roles, power and femme fatale femmes

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