Edited by an emeritus professor from Manchester University, this two-volume set follows the same format as other entries in the series (e.g., African American Writers, LJ 6/1/91). Sixty-five authors from throughout the African continent are included. The entries, which are written by an impressive array of contributors, generally provide a solid overview of the author's life and works and include a bibliography of primary and secondary sources. The results are accessible to college students but could also benefit more seasoned scholars. As in any such work, one can question the bases for the editor's choices. The major concern here is the inclusion of only nine women writers, with such notable omissions as Flora Nwapa, Grace Ogot, and Miriam Tlali. Still, this is a very worthwhile reference tool. By offering a wide spectrum of writers from across the continent, it serves as a useful complement to the three volumes of the Dictionary of Literary Biography series devoted to 20th-century Caribbean and black African writers (Gale, 1992-96).Louis J. Parascandola, Long Island Univ., Brooklyn Campus, N.Y.
This two-volume reference set offers an introduction to the variety
and richness of late 19th-century and 20th-century literature from
the African continent. The essays analyze the writings of 65 authors
who were born or have spent a great deal of time in Africa, and who
have made significant contributions to the literature of their
countries. Much of the literature is concerned with African reactions
to colonialism, and often it reflects the authors' search for the
true African identity<-->free of colonial impositions. A
chronological table of African history from 1830 to 1996 and a
listing of writers by country precede the alphabetical entries.
Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.