Tess Osonye Onwueme
Internationally renowned for her award-winning plays, and novels, Dr. Tess Onwueme is Africa's best known female dramatist, whose writing and speaking often poke into taboo and controversial subjects, revealing the untold hidden stories of young women and the poor, who remain caught in various crossfires with; family, tradition, race, class, gender, culture and politics. But then in the growing stampede for material wealth and power in both Africa and the global community today, their striving for voice, place and identity still remain unheard, thus provoking Dr. Tess Onwueme who commits herself as "a writer with an active conscience" to constantly "stage-a-hearing" for them through her inspiring provocative writing and speaking. That the BBC recently adapted and produced Onwueme's 2001 award-winning play, Shakara: Dance-Hall Queen as a major feature of their BBC World Drama Service for the Fall of 2004, is only one of such recent testimonies, marking the enriching value of Dr. Onwueme's creative work as a steady staple for the international public, as well as schools, colleges, and universities in international contexts, where her creative writing continue to impact and transform the academic curricular as scholars and teachers continuously adapt as primary teaching texts and tools for teaching, scholarship, theses, and dissertations.
The prolific Dr. Onwueme, who is married with five children, earned her Ph.D. from the University of Benin, Nigeria in 1988, following both her Masters and Bachelors degrees from the university of Ife, Nigeria in 1982, and 1979, respectively. Dr. Onwueme has won numerous international awards for her creative writing and contributions, including: the Drama Prize of the Association of Nigerian Authors, which Dr. Onwueme has broken all records to win four times with various plays, Then She Said It (2003), Shakara: Dance-Hall Queen (2001), Tell it to Women (1995), and The Desert Encroaches (1985), two substantial awards from the Ford Foundation in both 2000 and 2001, the 1988 Distinguished Authors Award, and the Martin Luther King / Caesar Chavez Distinguished Writer/Scholar Award, 1989/90. In 2009 she was awarded the prestigious Fonlon-Nichols Award at the African Literature Conference in Burlington, Vermont. Since joining the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire Wisconsin in 1994 as a Distinguished Professor of Cultural Diversity and Professor of English after her years of teaching in both Nigerian and American universities, Tess Onwueme continues to gain her steady strides, not just as a role-model for women and youths in the world, but also as a remarkable international writer and speaker, whose inspirational work and talent is steadily shaping and transforming public consciousness of issues impacting black women and youths in postcolonial societies today, while providing the critical resources and texts for scholars, who derive inspiration for their theses and dissertations from her writing in such multidisciplinary contexts as: Women/Feminist Studies, Cultural Studies, Studies of African, Diasporan, Black, Postcolonial, World, Literature, and Drama, together with those critically engaged in vital studies of Gender, Race, Class, especially as these impact underclass women and youths today.
For more information about this author, please visit her website at http://www.writertess.com/
Books authored by Tess Osonye Onwueme
- The Missing Face
ISBN 9780962886430 | 76 pages | 216 x 140 mm | 2002 | African Heritage Press, Nigeria | Paperback
- Riot in Heaven
ISBN 9780979085802 | 100 pages | 203 x 127 mm | 2006 | African Heritage Press, Nigeria | Paperback
- Shakara: Dance-Hall Queen
ISBN 9780979085819 | 164 pages | 216 x 140 mm | 2006 | African Heritage Press, Nigeria | Paperback
- Then She Said It
ISBN 9780962886423 | 128 pages | 216 x 140 mm | 2002 | African Heritage Press, Nigeria | Paperback
- Why the Elephant Has No Butt
ISBN 9780966383720 | 180 pages | 216 x 140 mm | 2000 | African Heritage Press, Nigeria | Paperback