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The Heinemann Book of Contemporary African Short Stories

Overview

Capturing the diversity of African writing from across the continent, this important anthology draws together well-established authors and the best of new writers.

From the harsh realities of South Africa, elegantly described by Nobel Prize winner Nadine Gordimer, to the fantastic world of Booker Prize winner Ben Okri and from the magic realism of Mozambican Mia Couto to the surreal world of Ghanaian Kojo Laing, the editors have distilled the essence of contemporary African ...

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Overview

Capturing the diversity of African writing from across the continent, this important anthology draws together well-established authors and the best of new writers.

From the harsh realities of South Africa, elegantly described by Nobel Prize winner Nadine Gordimer, to the fantastic world of Booker Prize winner Ben Okri and from the magic realism of Mozambican Mia Couto to the surreal world of Ghanaian Kojo Laing, the editors have distilled the essence of contemporary African writing. Blending the supernatural and the secular, the market-place and the shrine, this anthology gives the reader a taste of the full range of African literary styles.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...a fine work, and it's geographical range gives a comprehensive picture of the state of the African short story.'"
World Literature Today
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Achebe's powerful critique of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness as a racist mirror of Eurocentric attitudes leads off this challenging collection of essays on art, literature and social issues. The famed Nigerian novelist ( Things Fall Apart ) views literature as a medium that can help Africa regain a belief in itself to replace a posture of self-abasement instilled by its traumatic historical encounter with the West. Tributes to novelists Amos Tutuola and Kofi Awoonor, as well as discerning appraisals of writers such as V. S. Naipaul and James Baldwin, reflect his belief in the power of fiction to give us a ``handle on reality.'' Overall, these concise essays deliver a forceful commentary on Afro-American life and letters. Summing up Nigeria's recent sociopolitical history as ``a snatching of defeat from the jaws of victory,'' Achebe calls active participation in the political process a prerequisite for his country's, and Africa's, regeneration. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Because the Nigerian novelist Achebe usually writes in English, his essays are informed by a sense of encounter between Africa and Europe. In this collection Achebe attacks patronizing Western views of African culture with gusto. Focusing on the role of the writer, he considers literature--written and oral--as a social force. As literary theory, the prophetic, moralizing kind of criticism Achebe favors would need more stringent argument and more careful dissection of opposing views. Beyond that, libraries holding his earlier book, Morning Yet on Creation Day (o.p.), will already have five of the best essays here. Still, the present title has obvious value for African studies collections. Also, since Achebe's novels are frequently assigned in English courses, students might find helpful background here.-- Donald Ray, Mercy Coll. Lib., Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.
School Library Journal
YA-- Gathered together are 20 short stories written between 1980-1991. They are divided by region: five stories from Southern Africa; two from Central Africa; five from East Africa; two from Northern Africa; and six from West Africa. Region is important for, in many cases, the issues of the area are reflected in the selections. As an example, those from South Africa use racism as a major theme. Several have strong maternal figures struggling to provide for their families under intolerable burdens. While many of the authors are new, there are some well-established names. Nadine Gordimer's ``Amnesty'' beautifully describes the harshness of life in South Africa. The writing is mature, and the themes and moods are many, ranging from mystical to magical to supernatural to realistic. This anthology is a worthwhile addition to any library collection serving YAs.-- Pat Royal, Crossland High School, Camp Springs, MD
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780435905668
  • Publisher: Longman
  • Publication date: 5/1/1992
  • Series: AWS African Writers Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

**********Southern Africa**********

The Prophetess - Njabulo S. Ndebele (South Africa)

Amnesty - Nadine Gordimer (South Africa)

Wake - Lindiwe Mabuza (South Africa)

A Wasted Land - Daniel Mandishona (Zimbabwe)

The Birds of God - Mia Couto (Mozambique)

**********Central Africa**********

The Rubbish Dump - Steve Chimombo (Malawi)

The Man - E. B. Dongala (Congo)

**********East Africa**********

Cages - Abdulrazak Gurnah (Zanzibar)

Government by Magic Spell - Saida Hagi-Dirie Herzi (Somalia)

A Night Out -Tolowa Marti Mollel (Tanzania)

On the Market Day - Kyalo Mativo (Kenya)

Leaving - M. G. Vassanji (Tanzania)

**********Northern Africa**********

The Foreigner, Sister of the Foreign Woman - Assia Djebar (Algeria)

Road Block - Jamal Mahjoub (Sudan)

**********West Africa**********

Converging City - Ben Okri (Nigeria)

The Hotel - Adewale Maja-Pearce (Nigeria)

The Housegirl - Okey Chigbo (Nigeria)

The Miracle - Ba'bila Mutia (Cameroons)

Weaverdom - Tijan M. Sallah (The Gambia)

Vacancy for the Post of Jesus Christ - Kojo Laing (Ghana)

Biographical notes

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