The Girl with the Louding Voice

The Girl with the Louding Voice

by

Abi Daré

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The Girl with the Louding Voice Study Guide

Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Abi Daré's The Girl with the Louding Voice. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.

Brief Biography of Abi Daré

Abi Daré grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, where she was exposed to many households—including her own—that employed young girls as housemaids. These girls were usually brought to Lagos from small villages or other countries, and it was common for their employers to mistreat them. It was in part her experiences with these girls, their stories, and the way they used language that inspired Daré to write The Girl with the Louding Voice. After Daré’s parents divorced, her mother raised her and her brother. Their mother instilled in Daré the importance of education and ensured that her children received the best education possible. Daré was educated at the Vivian Fowler Memorial College for Girls in Nigeria before moving to the UK in 2000 to pursue a law degree at Wolverhampton University, an MSc in International Project Management at Glasgow Caledonian University, and later, an MA in Creative Writing at Birkbeck, University of London. The Girl with the Louding Voice is her first novel. The unpublished manuscript that would later become the novel won the 2018 Bath Novel Award and was a finalist for the 2018 Literary Consultancy Pen Factor competition. Daré lives in Essex with her husband and two daughters. As of 2020, she oversees app development at a publishing firm.
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Historical Context of The Girl with the Louding Voice

The real-life issue of child marriage in Nigeria features prominently in Daré’s novel. According to a 2018 UNICEF report, there are an estimated 22 million child brides living in Nigeria, which also has the largest number of child brides in West and Central Africa. In West and Central Africa, child marriage is more likely to affect those living in rural areas and in poverty, with the practice being over twice as common in rural areas than in urban areas. The practice has gradually declined since 1990, though many steps need to be taken to ensure that this progress continues. The Summit on Education held in Dakar in February 2018 presented the finding that education can be an effective means of preventing child marriage. Despite the passage of laws intended to protect the welfare of Nigerian children, such as the Child Rights Act of 2003, child marriage continues to occur among certain ethnic groups in the country, such as the Hausa-Fulani tribe in Northern Nigeria. There are also legal loopholes that allow child marriage to continue. For example, Section 29 of the Constitution of Nigeria states that a girl is regarded as an adult if she’s married, even if she is a minor at the time of the marriage. Because the constitution ranks higher than the Child Rights Act, this section of the constitution overrides Section 21 of the Child Rights Act, which states that marriages that occur between a minor and an adult are invalid.

Other Books Related to The Girl with the Louding Voice

The Girl with the Louding Voice is a novel by a Nigerian author about a Nigerian girl, and it contains feminist themes that challenge Nigeria’s cultural norms. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, whom Daré has cited as one of her inspirations, is another contemporary Nigerian author. Her books similarly focus on issues of feminism, identity, and the experiences of Nigerian women and girls. Adichie’s novel Purple Hibiscus follows the story of Kambili, a young girl around Adunni’s age, as she grows up amidst the political instability of postcolonial Nigeria. Another central focus of The Girl with the Louding Voice is Adunni’s forced marriage. Khaled Hosseini’s novel A Thousand Splendid Suns is set in Afghanistan and tells the stories of two young girls who are forced to marry an older, abusive man. Though not a work of fiction, Tara Westover’s memoir Educated contains the themes of education, self-worth, and independence that are also central to Adunni’s story in The Girl with the Louding Voice.
Key Facts about The Girl with the Louding Voice
  • Full Title: The Girl with the Louding Voice
  • When Written: 2020
  • Where Written: London
  • When Published: 2020
  • Literary Period: Contemporary
  • Genre: Novel
  • Setting: Nigeria
  • Climax: Big Madam reveals the truth about what happened to Rebecca. 
  • Antagonist: Morufu, Big Daddy, Big Madam, Mr. Kola
  • Point of View: First Person

Extra Credit for The Girl with the Louding Voice

New Perspective. Daré was inspired to write The Girl with the Louding Voice after her eight-year-old daughter complained about emptying the dishwasher. Daré responded that there were girls her daughter’s age in Nigeria who worked as full-time housemaids.