Critical Perspectives on Postcolonial African Children's and Young Adult Literature

Overview

The past few years mark a growing scholarly interest in African children's literature in the United States. Several books have recently been published on the subject, and the number of papers on African children's literature presented at conferences or published in scholarly journals also seems to have increased. These publications are becoming more and more sophisticated as scholars move away from general country surveys or analyses of publishing conditions and instead analyze literary structures, themes, and ...

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Overview

The past few years mark a growing scholarly interest in African children's literature in the United States. Several books have recently been published on the subject, and the number of papers on African children's literature presented at conferences or published in scholarly journals also seems to have increased. These publications are becoming more and more sophisticated as scholars move away from general country surveys or analyses of publishing conditions and instead analyze literary structures, themes, and illustrations, or apply Marxist, feminist, or postcolonial theories to interpret literary works. The question of an authentic voice in postcolonial African children's literature has emerged as a central concern to those who care about books for African children and young adults. Also of importance is the matter of how Africa is presented in literature for children who do not live on that continent. The essays in this book either take a postcolonial or revisionist approach to the study of colonial literature, or discuss books published after decolonization.

The introductory essay provides a general analysis of the key issues facing the publication of children's books in postcolonial Africa—issues of national identity, language, appropriate genres, and relevant themes to inculcate a nationalistic outlook in children and young adults. The chapters that follow are located within this broad framework and are written by expert contributors. While these essays reflect the scholarly interests and specialization of each author, they also span the entire field of African children's literature. The first group of chapters surveys African children's literature from a variety of angles and explores such topics as literacy and the publishing culture in Africa, the role and importance of awards, Nigerian young adult literature, and the relevance of folktales. The book then turns to a discussion of books about Africa written by Western authors for Western readers, which often project values and perspectives that betray a continuing colonial bias. The last part of the book examines more specialized themes and concerns.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

MEENA KHORANA is Professor of English at Morgan State University, where she specializes in children's and young adult literature.

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Table of Contents

Preface

Children's Publishing in Africa: Can the Colonial Past Be Forgotten?" by Meena Khorana

The Excitement and Challenges of Publishing for Kenyan Children: A Writer's Perspective by Asenath Bole Odaga

Award-Winning Children's Books: The Noma Selections 1980-1994 by Nancy Schmidt

"To Build a Nation Where Peace and Justice Reign": Postcolonial Nigerian Young Adult Literature by Osayimwense Osa

Postcolonial Hispanic African Children's Literature by Mbare Ngom

Babar and the French Connection: Teaching the Politics of Superiority and Exclusion by Claire-Lise Malarte-Feldman and Jack Yeager

The French Avant-Garde Revisited: Or Why We Shouldn't Burn Mickey Mouse by Jean Perrot

Vicarious Culture Shock: Children's Books About North Africa by Greta D. Little

Beyond Illusion: Lessons of Morality in the Children's Narratives of Chinua Achebe by Karen Patricia Smith

Myth of the Golden Age: Journey Tales in African Children's Literature by Michael Joseph

Quest for Selfhood: The Female Hero in Amos Tutuola's Brave African Huntress by Judy Anne White

Stories of Passage, Stories of Crossings: Trends in South African Youth Literature from 1990 to 1995 by Miki Flockemann

Index

Bibliography

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