"Together, these two works form an odd whole, but it's very much a whole worth seeking out....Remarkably effective in getting [the] story across....The stories all work in different ways, but that too can be seen as part of the appeal; the way different voices leap out of the page across the various stories and sub-stories is another bonus."
"Frieda Ekotto’s fiction opens up new grounds in African queer writing. She was one of the first to write fiction with humanizing representations of the lives of francophone African women loving women. This translation of two of her novellas is a gift to Anglophone readers."
— Brittle Paper
"Thematically provocative and narratively delicious, Frieda Ekotto’s first novel challenges constraining expectations of romantic bonding in Africa. Don’t Whisper Much is a tale of three generations of females whose intimate corporeal practices index as well as defy the violence that women’s bodies endure under both local patriarchal practices and global configurations of power. Since the birth of modern African literature in European languages, no other literary imaginings of same-sex eroticism have dared to do what Ekotto accomplishes in her novel. The language is as captivating as the powerful work of imagination that made possible Don’t Whisper Much. Ekotto accomplishes a similar feat with Bona Mbella. It is not surprising that although these novels have only been accessed in French, Whisper has already garnered a sustained critical attention. These English translations are a welcome contribution to a deeper understanding of female (homo)sexuality in Africa and any literature and cultural courses on sexuality will benefit from them."
— Naminata Diabate, Cornell University
"Defying the norms of sexuality, culture, and narrative form, Frieda Ekotto brings to her readers a unique vision of queer African life and love. These beautifully rendered translations of Ekotto’s poetic prose are long overdue. A major event!"
— Lynne Huffer, Emory University
“The translation of Frieda Ekotto’s works Don’t Whisper Too Much and Portrait of a Young Artist from Bona Mbella represent generic, formal, and topical innovations that make this project certain to be a notable English-language publication in its own right, as well as a landmark addition to the canon of Afro-Francophone literature in translation.”
— Carmen R. Gillespie, Griot Institute for Africana Studies, Bucknell University
"Don’t Whisper Too Much was the first work of fiction by an African writer to present love stories between African women in a positive light; Bona Mbella is the second."
"Ekotto masterfully illustrates the complex layers of African women-loving-women, which include patriarchy, violence, agency and colonialism."
— Ms. Magazine