African Literature: An Anthology of Criticism and Theory / Edition 1

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In a Nigerian newspaper, more than ten years ago, the distinguished critic, Biodun Jeyifo, lamented what he called the "homelessness" of the writings of African literary theorists and critics. This landmark anthology at long last creates a home for the key texts, bringing together work that otherwise exists only in disparate journals and essay collections, and largely inaccessible texts. Covering all genres and critical schools of literary theory, the anthology provides the intellectual context for understanding African literature. The material is organised around significant topics in the field, including feminist criticism, postmodernism, and Marxist theory; and reflects the chronological development of African literary criticism. Writings include those written by scholars with often fiercely divergent viewpoints, exemplifying the drama and excitement of debates in the field.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This anthology represents a gathering of the best critical work onAfrican literature and on larger questions of literary history, thesociology of literature, criticism and theory. In this magnificentbook, we have a collection of the best that has been thought andwritten about African literary culture and the modern imagination."
Simon Gikandi, Professor of English, PrincetonUniversity

“Introduces the material in a crisp, always engaged,sometimes provocative manner … .Diverse perspectives throughthe rich dynamics of dialogue and debate. Highlyrecommended.” Choice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405112017
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 7/1/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 794
  • Sales rank: 1,172,246
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 1.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Tejumola Olaniyan is Professor in English at the Universityof Wisconsin. His publications include: Scars of Conquest/Masksof Resistance: The Invention of Cultural Identities in African,African American and Caribbean Drama (1995), Arrest theMusic: Fela and His Rebel Art and Politics (2004), and he iscoeditor of African Drama and Performance (2004).

Ato Quayson is Professor in English and Director of theCentre for Diaspora and Transnationalism Studies, University ofToronto. His previous publications include StrategicTransformation in Nigerian Writing (1997), Postcolonialism:Theory, Practice or Process? (2000), RelocatingPostcolonialism (Blackwell, 2002) and Calibrations: Readingfor the Social (2003).

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Table of Contents


Introduction: Tejumola Olaniyan and Ato Quayson.

Part I: Backgrounds:.

1. Africa and Writing: Alain Ricard (2004).

2. Sub-Saharan Africa’s Literary History in a Nutshell:Albert S. Gérard (1993).

3. Politics, Culture, and Literary Form: Bernth Lindfors(1979).

4. African Literature in Portuguese: Russell G. Hamilton(2004).

5. North African Writing: Anissa Talahite (1997).

6. A Continent and its Literatures in French: Jonathan Ngate(1988).

7. African Literature and the Colonial Factor: Simon Gikandi(2004).

8. African Literature: Myth or Reality?: V. Y. Mudimbe(1985).

Part II: Orality, Literacy, and the Interface:.

9. Africa and Orality: Liz Gunner (2004).

10. Orality, Literacy, and African Literature: Abiola Irele(1989).

11. Oral Literature and Modern African Literature: IsidoreOkpewho (1992).

12. Women’s Oral Genres: Mary E. Modupe Kolawole(1997).

13.The Oral Artist’s Script: Harold Scheub (2002).

Part III: Writer, Writing, and Function:.

14. The Novelist as Teacher: Chinua Achebe (1965).

15. The Truth of Fiction: Chinua Achebe (1988).

16. Three in a Bed: Fiction, Morals, and Politics: NadineGordimer (1988).

17. Nobel Lecture: Naguib Mahfouz (1988).

18. Redefining Relevance: Njabulo S. Ndebele (1994).

19. Preparing Ourselves for Freedom: Albie Sachs (1990).

Part IV: Creativity in/and Adversarial Contexts:.

20. A Voice That Would Not Be Silenced: Wole Soyinka (2001).

21. Exile and Creativity: A Prolonged Writer’s Block:Micere Githae Mugo (1997).

22. Containing Cockroaches (Memories of IncarcerationReconstructed in Exile): Jack Mapanje (1997).

23. Writing Against Neo-Colonialism: Ngugi wa Thiong’O(1988).

24. The Writer and Responsibility: Breyten Bretenbach(1983).

25. Dissidence and Creativity: Nawal El Saadawi (1996).

26. Culture Beyond Color? A South African Dilemma: ZoëWicomb (1993).

27. In Praise of Exile: Nuruddin Farah (1990).

28. The African Writer’s Experience of EuropeanLiterature: D. Marechera (1987).

Part V: On Nativism and the Quest for Indigenous Aesthetics:Negritude and Traditionalism:.

29. Negritude: A Humanism of the Twentieth Century: LéopoldSédar Senghor (1970).

30. What is Négritude?: Abiola Irele (1977).

31. Negritude and a New Africa: An Update: Peter S. Thompson(2002).

32. Prodigals, Come Home!: Chinweizu (1973).

33. Neo-Tarzanism: The Poetics of Pseudo-Tradition: Wole Soyinka(1975).

34. My Signifier is More Native than Yours: Issues in Making aLiterature African: Adélékè Adéèkó(1998).

35. Out of Africa: Topologies of Nativism: Kwame Anthony Appiah(1988).

36. On National Culture: Frantz Fanon (1963).

37. True and False Pluralism: Paulin Hountondji (1973).

38. “An Open Letter to Africans” c/o The PunicOne-Party State: Sony Labou Tansi (1990).

39. Resistance Theory/Theorizing Resistance or Two Cheers forNativism: Benita Parry (1994).

Part VI: The Language of African Literature:.

40. The Dead End of African Literature: Obiajunwa Wali(1963).

41. The Language of African Literature: Ngugi wa Thiong’O(1986).

42. Anamnesis in the Language of Writing: Assia Djebar(1999).

43. African-Language Literature: Tragedy and Hope: Daniel P.Kunene (1992).

Part VII: On Genres:.

44. Background to the West African Novel: Emmanuel N. Obiechina(1975).

45. Languages of the Novel: A Lover’s Reflections:André Brink (1998).

46. Realism and Naturalism in African Fiction: Neil Lazarus(1987).

47. “Who Am I?”: Fact and Fiction in AfricanFirst-Person Narrative: Mineke Schipper (1989).

48. Festivals, Ritual, and Drama in Africa: Tejumola Olaniyan(2004).

49. The Fourth Stage: Through the Mysteries of Ogun to theOrigin of Yoruba Tragedy: Wole Soyinka (1973).

50. Introduction to King Oedipus: Tawfiq Al-Hakim (1949).

51. Poetry as Dramatic Performance: Kofi Anyidoho (1991).

52. “Azikwelwa” (We Will Not Ride): Politics andValue in Black South African Poetry: Anne McClintock (1987).

53. Revolutionary Practice and Style in Lusophone LiberationPoetry: Emmanuel Ngara (1990).

Part VIII: Theorizing the Criticism of AfricanLiterature:.

54. Academic Problems and Critical Techniques: Eldred D. Jones(1965).

55. African Literature, Western Critics: Rand Bishop (1988).

56. A Formal Approach to African Literature: Kenneth W. Harrow(1990).

57. African Absence, a Literature without a Voice: Ambroise Kom(1997).

58. The Nature of Things: Arrested Decolonization and CriticalTheory: Biodun Jeyifo (1990).

59. Reading through Western Eyes: Christopher L. Miller(1990).

60. The Logic of Agency in African Literary Criticism: OlakunleGeorge (2003).

61. Exclusionary Practices in African Literary Criticism:Florence Stratton (1994).

Part IX: Marxism:.

62. Towards a Marxist Sociology of African Literature: OmafumeF. Onoge (1986).

63. Writers in Politics: The Power of Words and the Words ofPower: Ngugi wa Thiong’O (1997).

64. National Liberation and Culture: Amilcar Cabral (1970).

65. Concerning National Culture: Agostinho Neto (1979).

66. Masks and Marx: The Marxist Ethos vis-à-vis AfricanRevolutionary Theory and Praxis: Ayi Kwei Armah (1985).

67. Marxist Aesthetics: An Open-Ended Legacy: Chidi Amuta(1989).

Part X: Feminism:.

68. To Be an African Woman Writer – an Overview and aDetail: Ama Ata Aidoo (1988).

69. The Heroine in Arab Literature: Nawal El Saadawi (1980).

70. Women and Creative Writing in Africa: Flora Nwapa(1998).

71. African Motherhood – Myth and Reality: Lauretta Ngcobo(1988).

72. Stiwanism: Feminism in an African Context: MolaraOgundipe-Leslie (1994).

73. Feminism with a Small “f”: Buchi Emecheta(1988).

74. Writing Near the Bone: Yvonne Vera (1997).

75. Some Notes on African Feminism: Carole Boyce Davies(1986).

76. Bringing African Women into the Classroom: RethinkingPedagogy and Epistemology: Obioma Nnaemeka (1994).

77. Enlightenment Epistemology and the Invention of Polygyny:Uzo Esonwanne (1997).

78. Feminism, Postcolonialism and the Contradictory Orders ofModernity: Ato Quayson (2000).

Part XI: Structuralism, Poststructuralism, Postcolonialism,and Postmodernism:.

79. Genetic Structuralism as a Critical Technique (Notes Towarda Sociological Theory of the African.

Novel): Sunday O. Anozie (1971).

80. In Praise of Alienation: Abiola Irele (1987).

81. In the Wake of Colonialism and Modernity: Biodun Jeyifo(2000).

82. Postructuralism and Postcolonial Discourse: Simon Gikandi(2004).

83. Subjectivity and History: Derrida in Algeria: Robert J. C.Young (2001).

84. The Angel of Progress: Pitfalls of the Term“Post-colonialism”: Anne McClintock (1994).

85. Postmodernity, Postcoloniality, and African Studies:Tejumola Olaniyan (2003).

86. Postcolonialism and Postmodernism: Ato Quayson (2000).

87. Is the Post- in Postmodernism the Post- in Postcolonial?:Kwame Anthony Appiah (1991).

88. Postmodernism and Black Writing in South Africa: Lewis Nkosi(1998).

89. African-Language Literature and Postcolonial Criticism:Karin Barber (1995).

Part XII: Ecocriticism:.

90. Ecoing the Other(s): The Call of Global Green and BlackAfrican Responses: William Slaymaker (2001).

91. Different Shades of Green: Ecocriticism and AfricanLiterature: Byron Caminero-Santangelo (2007).

92. Ecological Postcolonialism in African Women’sLiterature: Juliana Makuchi Nfah-Abbenyi (1998).

93. Environmentalism and Postcolonialism: Rob Nixon (2005).

Part XIII: Queer, Postcolonial:.

94. “Wheyting Be Dat?”: The Treatment ofHomosexuality in African Literature: Chris Dunton (1989).

95. Out in Africa: Gaurav Desai (1997).

96. Toward a Lesbian Continuum? Or Reclaiming the Erotic:Juliana Makuchi Nfah-Abbenyi (1997).

97. Queer Futures: The Coming-Out Novel in South Africa: BrennaMunro (2007).


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