Please wait while we process your payment
If you don't see it, please check your spam folder. Sometimes it can end up there.
Don’t have an account?
Create Your Account
Sign up for your FREE 7-day trial
Already have an account? Log in
Choose Your Plan
$4.99/month + tax
$24.99/year + tax
Save over 50% with a SparkNotes PLUS Annual Plan!
for a group?
Get Annual Plans at a discount when you buy 2 or more!
$18.74 /subscription + tax
Subtotal $37.48 + tax
on 2-49 accounts
on 50-99 accounts
You'll be billed after your free trial ends.
7-Day Free Trial
Renews March 10, 2024
March 3, 2024
Discounts (applied to next billing)
This is not a valid promo code.
(one code per order)
Annual Plan - Group Discount
SparkNotes Plus subscription is $4.99/month or $24.99/year as selected above. The free trial period is the first 7 days of your subscription. TO CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION AND AVOID BEING CHARGED, YOU MUST CANCEL BEFORE THE END OF THE FREE TRIAL PERIOD. You may cancel your subscription on your Subscription and Billing page or contact Customer Support at email@example.com. Your subscription will continue automatically once the free trial period is over. Free trial is available to new customers only.
For the next 7 days, you'll have access to awesome PLUS stuff like AP English test prep, No Fear Shakespeare translations and audio, a note-taking tool, personalized dashboard, & much more!
You’ve successfully purchased a group discount. Your group members can use the joining link below to redeem their group membership. You'll also receive an email with the link.
Members will be prompted to log in or create an account to redeem their group membership.
Thanks for creating a SparkNotes account! Continue to start your free trial.
Your PLUS subscription has expired
Ama Ata Aidoo was born in 1942 in pre-independence Ghana. The daughter of a
village chief in the town of Abeadzi Kyiakor, Aidoo was raised in a comfortable and
progressive household that not only supported but also encouraged her education.
Aidoo’s father opened the first school in their village, and sent Aidoo to the
prestigious Wesley Girls High School in Cape Coast, where she first began to
consider herself a writer. She published her first short story in 1958 after winning
a writing competition, which encouraged her to keep writing. Three years later,
Aidoo entered the University of Ghana at Legon where she continued to write short
stories, poetry, and plays. In 1964, Aidoo’s first play, The Dilemma of a
Ghost, was staged and later published. The play was one of Aidoo’s
earliest explorations of several prominent themes that would dominate her later
works. In the play, two young college graduates, one Ghanaian and the other
African-American, fall in love and marry. This sets off an exploration of cultural
differences and colonial legacies. Aidoo’s work led to the formation of a strong,
female literary presence that would be vital to her work and to African literature
as a whole.
Following Aidoo’s graduation from the University of Ghana in 1964, she worked
as a research fellow at the Institute for African Studies. Six years earlier, Chinua
Achebe published his novel Things Fall Apart. Achebe’s novel marked
a dramatic turning point in African literature. With its incorporation of both
African and Western literary traditions, Things Fall Apart served
as a model for discussing Africa’s colonial legacy while simultaneously reaffirming
the traditional values of African culture. This novel offered the first and most
significant example of the style of postcolonial African literature.
As Ghana and most of the rest of Africa struggled to break free from colonial
rule and assert its cultural and economic independence, Aidoo was acutely aware of a
woman’s role in traditional African society. An ardent feminist, Aidoo wanted to
incorporate into her art a representation of women that highlighted not only their
place but also the changing role of women in the post-colonial Africa. For Aidoo,
there was no separation between the liberation of African countries from colonial
rulers and the liberation of women from traditional patriarchal authority. In
addition, there remained few strong female characters within African literature.
Following the publication of The Dilemma of a Ghost, Aidoo
published another play, Anowa, and one novel, Our Sister
Killjoy. Both works further developed the themes in The Dilemma
of a Ghost, particularly the role of women in African society, and the
structure of patriarchal authority.
At the same time that Aidoo continued to write increasingly influential works,
she held several prominent posts as both an academic and political figure. From 1972
to 1982, Aidoo served as Coordinator of the African Literature Program at Cape
Coast, while also serving at various points as the director of Ghana Broadcasting
Corporation and of the Arts Council of Ghana. In 1982, Aidoo was appointed to serve
as Minister of Education in Ghana. Aidoo used her position to begin campaigning for
affordable, universal education for all. Aidoo’s strong-minded position lead to a
falling out with the Ghanaian government, and after little more than a year, she
abandoned her post to move to Zimbabwe in order to write full-time.
In 1991, Aidoo published her most famous and influential work,
Changes: A Love Story. Although the introduction states that the novel
is “not meant to be a contribution to any debate, however current,” it is full of
characters and themes that reflect the emergence of a new, highly educated class of
men and women struggling to understand their contemporary identities in conjunction
with their ancient traditions. Aidoo critically examines the tensions and changing
dynamic within the next generation of Africa’s emerging middle class through the
lives of the novel’s main characters, Esi Sekyi and Ali Kondey. Changes: A
Love Story brought international acclaim for Aidoo, winning
her the Commonwealth Writers Prize Africa Division. She has since
published another novel, The Girl Who Can and Other Stories, along
with several children’s books and collections of poetry.
Ace your assignments with our guide to Changes: A Love Story!