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Readings in African Popular Fiction

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"... a useful introduction to an important field of African creative writing that has been invisible for the most part in North America and Europe."
—Eileen Julien

Readings in African Popular Fiction explores the social, political, and economic contexts of popular narratives by bringing together new and classic essays by important scholars in African literature and eight primary texts. Excerpts from popular magazines, cartoons, novellas, and moral and instructional pamphlets present African popular fiction from all areas of the continent. Selections include essays on Hausa creative writing, the influence of Indian film in Nigeria, Onitsha market literature, writing and popular culture in Cameroon, Kenyan romances, Swahili literature, art and cartoons, works by South African writers of the 1950s, and popular crime thrillers in Malawi. Stephanie Newell’s introduction engages themes and trends in popular fiction in contemporary Africa.

Contributors are J. C. Anorue, Misty Bastian, Felicitas Becker, Richard Bjornson, William Burgess, Michael Chapman, Don Dodson, Dorothy Driver, Roger Field, Bodil Folke Frederiksen, Graham Furniss, Raoul Granqvist, Paul Gready, Ime Ikiddeh, J. Roger Kurtz and Robert M. Kurtz, Alex La Guma, Brian Larkin, Bernth Lindfors, Charles Mangua, Gomolemo Mokae, Ben R. Mtobwa, Njabulo Ndebele, Nici Nelson, Stephanie Newell, Sarah Nuttall, Donatus Nwoga, Alain Ricard, Lindy Stiebel, and Balaraba Ramat Yakubu.

Indiana University Press

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
I know of no other book like this one and it provides an introduction to an extremely important but ignored cultural important field of African writing that has been invisible for the most part in North America and Europe. The range of articles examining the reading practices of the majority of Africans on the continent forces a reconsideration of the idea of 'African literature'.- Eileen Julien, Indiana University ... this volume is essential reading not only for specialists in the field but for all those interested in African cultural life. It provides an invaluable sources of material for scholars, teachers and students of African literature as well as for a more general readership wishing to familiarise themselves with less widely known African popular texts, theory and criticism.' - Sue Kossew in ARAS This is a rich and intelligently conceived anthology... the examples presented here also challenge the usual paradigms now taken for granted in postcolonial studies, and demonstrate that 'subaltern voices' so often assumed to be silent or suppressed can be heard loud and clear if one cares to locate oneself outside Western academies and networks. - C.L. Innes, University of Kent at Canterbury
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780253215109
  • Publisher: Indiana University Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2002
  • Series: Readings in African Studies Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephanie Newell is Smuts Memorial Research Fellow in African Studies at the University of Cambridge. She is author of Literary Culture in Colonial Ghana (just approved for IUP co-pub with Manchester UP), Ghanaian Popular Fiction (Currey; Ohio, 2000), and editor of Images of African and Caribbean Women: Migration, Displacement, Diaspora (Centre for Commonwealth Studies, 1996), Images of African Women: The Gender Problematic (Centre for Commonweatlh Studies, 1995), and Writing African Women: Gender, Popular Culture, and Literature in West Africa (Zed Books, 1997).

Indiana University Press

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Table of Contents

Preliminary Table of Contents:

Notes on Contributors
Introduction Stephanie Newell

1. Perspectives on West African Popular Fiction
Hausa Creative Writing in the 1930s: An Exploration in Postcolonial Theory Graham Furniss
Indian Films and Nigerian Lovers: Media and the Creation of Parallel Modernities Brian Larkin
Excerpts from Balaraba Ramat Yakubu, Alhalo Kwikwiyo Translated from Hausa by William Burgess
Onitsha Market Literature Donatus Nwoga
The Role of the Publishers in Onitsha Market Literature Don Dodson
Reproduction of J. C. Anorue, How to Become Rich and Avoid Poverty
Irregular Visions: Narratives about Ogbaanje (Spirit Children) in Southern Nigerian Popular Writing Misty Bastian
Felix Couchoro: Pioneer of Popular Writing in West Africa? Alain Ricard
Writing and Popular Culture in Cameroon Richard Bjornson
The Character of Popular Fiction in Ghana Ime Ikiddeh

2. Perspectives on East African Popular Fiction
Storylines, Spellbinders, and Heartbeats: Decentring the African Oral-Popular Discourse Raoul Granqvist
Romances for the Office Worker: Aubrey Kalitera and Malawi's White-Collar Reading Public Bernth Lindfors
Joe, the Sweetest Reading in Africa: Documentation and Discussion of a Popular Magazine in Kenya Bodil Folke Frederiksen
Fascimiles of Cartoons, Stories, and Covers from Joe Magazine
Representation of Men and Women, City and Town in Kenyan Novels of the 1970s and 1980s Nici Nelson
Excerpts from Charles Mangua, Son of Woman
Language and Ideology in Postcolonial Kenyan Literature: The Case of David Maillu's Macaroni Fiction J. Roger Kurtz and Robert M. Kurtz
Excerpts from Ben R. Mtobwa, Dar es Salaam Usiku (Dar es Salaam by Night) Translated from Swahili and with a short introduction by Felicitas Becker

3. Perspectivees on Southern African Popular Fiction
Rediscovery of the Ordinary Njabulo Ndebele
African Popular Fiction: Consideration of a Category Michael Chapman
The Sophiatown Writers of the Fifties: The Unreal Reality of their World Paul Gready
Drum Magazine (1951-1959) and the Spatial Configurations of Gender Dorothy Driver
Facsimiles and Front Covers, Articles, Letters and Advertisements from Drum Magazine, 1952-1955
La Guma's Little Libby: The Adventures of Liberation Chabalala
Little Libby Comic Strips by Alex La Guma
Reading Lives Sarah Nuttall
Black 'Tecs: Popular Thrillers by South African Black Writers in the Nineties Lindy Stiebel

Excerpts from Gomolemo Mokae, The Secret in My Bosom

Indiana University Press

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