The Columbia Guide to Central African Literature in English Since 1945

The Columbia Guide to Central African Literature in English Since 1945

by Adrian Roscoe
     
 

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Columbia's guides to postwar African literature paint a unique portrait of the continent's rich and diverse literary traditions. This volume examines the rapid rise and growth of modern literature in the three postcolonial nations of Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Zambia. It tracks the multiple political and economic pressures that have shaped Central African writing since

Overview

Columbia's guides to postwar African literature paint a unique portrait of the continent's rich and diverse literary traditions. This volume examines the rapid rise and growth of modern literature in the three postcolonial nations of Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Zambia. It tracks the multiple political and economic pressures that have shaped Central African writing since the end of World War II and reveals its authors' heroic efforts to keep their literary traditions alive in the face of extreme poverty and AIDS.

Adrian Roscoe begins with a list of key political events. Since writers were composing within both colonial and postcolonial contexts, he pays particular attention to the nature of British colonialism, especially theories regarding its provenance and motivation. Roscoe discusses such historical figures as David Livingstone, Cecil Rhodes, and Sir Harry Johnston, as well as modern power players, including Robert Mugabe, Kenneth Kaunda, and Kamuzu Banda. He also addresses efforts to create a literary-historical record from an African perspective, an account that challenges white historiographies in which the colonized was neither agent nor informer.

A comprehensive alphabetical guide profiles both established and emerging authors and further illustrates issues raised in the introduction. Roscoe then concludes with a detailed bibliography recommending additional reading and sources. At the close of World War II the people of Central Africa found themselves mired in imperial fatigue and broken promises of freedom. This fueled a desire for liberation and a major surge in literary production, and in this illuminating guide Roscoe details the campaigns for social justice and political integrity, for education and economic empowerment, and for gender equity, participatory democracy, rural development, and environmental care that characterized this exciting period of development., reviewing a previous edition or volume

Editorial Reviews

Washington Times - Martin Rubin
Knowledgeably compiled by Adrian Roscoe... [It's] so useful with its wealth of background information: Literary, historical, cultural and political.

Reference Reviews - Bob Duckett
Any library that covers African studies or comparative literature will be well-advised to invest in this one.

Washington Times
Knowledgeably compiled by Adrian Roscoe... [It's] so useful with its wealth of background information: Literary, historical, cultural and political.

— Martin Rubin

CHOICE
An extremely valuable record of literary achievement... Highly recommended.

Reference Reviews
Any library that covers African studies or comparative literature will be well-advised to invest in this one.

— Bob Duckett

Choice
An extremely valuable record of literary achievement... Highly recommended.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231503792
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
11/17/2007
Series:
Columbia Guides to Literature Since 1945
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
328
File size:
810 KB

What People are saying about this

Chris Dunton
This is a truly excellent book and will come to be seen as the key text in the field. Adrian Roscoe's writing is lucid, eloquent, and often witty. Individual author entries are exemplary in their combination of biography, brief but cogent analysis of primarytexts, which unfailingly highlights the essential qualities and achievements of each author, and recommendations for further reading. Any library with an interest in Africana should be expected to acquire it.

Meet the Author

Before his retirement in 2000, Adrian Roscoe was Senior Professor and Head of the Department of English Studies at the University of the North (South Africa). He is the author of Mother is Gold (Cambridge, 1977), Uhuru's Fire (Cambridge, 1988) and The Quiet Chameleon (with Mpalive-Hangson Msiska, Hans Zel Pub, 1992)

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