Female Readers as Literary Critics: Reading Experiences of Kano Market Romance Fiction
Keywords:Kano Market Romance novels, Female Readers clubs, Interviews, Reader-Response Criticism.
This paper aims to explore the female readers reading experiences, views and feelings of Hausa romance novels found in most of the northern part of Nigeria. This article also examines some criticism and accusations against the readership and content of the Hausa romance genre. The study applied the Transactional Reader-Response Theory of Rosenblatt’s (1978) as guide by selecting 7 female readers within the age ranges between 22-26 years from 2 book clubs to participate in the study. The findings revealed that all the readers individually were able to reveal their varied responses, beliefs, and experiences on the value of the romance novels which challenged the assertion made by the literary critics and traditional society that the books have no relevance in their life activities which supported their arguments and personal interpretive reading stance towards the Hausa romance genre. The finding yielded four themes were emerging: (a) promoting literacy development; (b) resistance to the traditional marriage system in society; (d) enlightening females on social inequality. These findings provided empirical support for the application of the Transactional Reader-Response Theory of Rosenblatt (1978) outside classroom contexts to understand the role of African romance novels towards female social transformation.
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