Purple Mangoes is a collection of 10 stories that explore womanhood in West Africa. The voices vary from story to story, each one sharp, distinct and revealing of another facet of the female experience in African society. The first time I read the collection I ached with the bleakness of it all. I lamented the short-sightedness of the women who crowded around a newborn in Baby Girl and discussed her like a commodity at the market. “You know a good daughter will fetch a good bride price for her father, especially if she is hard working and beautiful.” I fumed on behalf of the adolescent in The Child Widow who is married off to an elderly man then accused of murdering him when he dies.