This is a study of gender ideology in African popular literature published from the seventies onwards. First the thesis argues that, far from being merely the demonised Other of high literature, contemporary African popular literature can be profitably studied as a distinct modality of ideological signification. Secondly, it is argued that there are three dominant modes of representation of gender ideology in contemporary African popular literature. There is the conservative model which merely reproduces dominant gender ideology in a fictive modality. Then there are those texts which operate with a liberal model of ideological representation, within which the principle of pragmatic management of crisis within gender ideology is contained by an ideological ambivalence. The third mode of representation of dominant gender ideology employs a radical reading of gender difference and goes beyond mere analysis to envisioning the possibility of gender egalitarianism. Each mode of representation is illustrated by an in-depth study of select texts. All in all, what is offered is a materialist theory of cultural authenticity and taxonomy.