The literature produced by Buchi Emecheta over the past quarter of a century is powerful, subtle, and ultimately hopeful without idealistic naivete. Those critics who have come to Emecheta looking for a Western-style feminist or a staunch African traditionalist have found the subtlety of her texts easily ignored, and the texts themselves, easily appropriated. They have done themselves and Emecheta's works a great disservice by reading their own idealogical positions into the texts, which are dialogic and heteroglossic in the extreme. It is neither necessary nor advisable to read Emecheta's novels as straightforward tracts expounding upon the Position of the Author. By focusing on the dialogic richness and the aspects which reveal potential utopian energies, with the help of M. M. Bakhtin and Fredric Jameson, one can find much more of worth to say about these novels than a simple, finalizing statement of "What They Mean." In fact, the dialogic relationship is far more complex, interestinf, and productive than many unfortunate critics have allowed themselves to realize. Out of the interactions between the potentials of genuine cultural exchange and the horrors of imperial domination of African minds and bodies, Emecheta develops her own uniquely comple and cautious interrogation of the excesses of Western modernism and outdated traditional practices alike.