African Settings in Contemporary American Novels

African Settings in Contemporary American Novels

by Dave Kuhne
     
 

Africa has long captured the Western imagination as a land shrouded in danger and mystery. British and American novels written before World War II established popular conventions and stereotypes about Africa that have been increasingly challenged by contemporary American novels set in Africa. Kuhne's book overviews the ways in which Africa has been employed as a

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Overview

Africa has long captured the Western imagination as a land shrouded in danger and mystery. British and American novels written before World War II established popular conventions and stereotypes about Africa that have been increasingly challenged by contemporary American novels set in Africa. Kuhne's book overviews the ways in which Africa has been employed as a powerful setting for American novels written since World War II. Kuhne argues that contemporary American novels with African settings are largely didactic, that these novels convey specific lessons about Africa and Africans, and that they compare African and American cultures in order to evaluate and critique the two worlds.

The book begins by summarizing the conventions and themes Westerners have traditionally associated with Africa and by detailing how British and American authors from Aphra Behn to Ernest Hemingway depicted Africa before World War II. It then looks at contemporary American novels set in invented African nations, novels that typically suggest that the problems that trouble actual African nations are the result of colonialism. A separate chapter then examines the African novels of African Americans, which generally aim to correct the historical record, refute stereotypes, and detail the horrors of the slave trade. The volume also looks at genre fiction set in Africa, while a final chapter discusses postcolonial novels with African settings.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Looks at the various ways in which American authors since WWII have employed African settings in their novels. Examines connotations that Westerners have traditionally associated with Africa, and outlines the use of African settings as they appear in British and American fiction from Aphra Behn to Ernest Hemingway. Deals with novels that are set in invented African nations, and examines the ways in which African settings function in terms of genre. Considers the role of Westerners and Asians as outsiders in postcolonial Africa and examines ways in which African settings have been incorporated into postmodern fiction. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknew.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780313310409
Publisher:
ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date:
05/30/1999
Series:
Contributions in Afro-American and African Studies: Contemporary Black Poets Series
Pages:
172
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.56(d)
Lexile:
1380L (what's this?)

Meet the Author

DAVE KUHNE is a Writing Specialist at the William L. Adams Writing Center and Instructor of English at Texas Christian University. His articles and short stories have appeared in such publications as CCTE Studies, Lamar Journal of the Humanities, and New Texas 91.

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